July and August are great months for cooking out, enjoying the outdoors, and relaxing in the sun. Sadly, these are also two months when you’re at the greatest risk of having your car stolen. Find out which cars were most often stolen in 2016—you might be surprised!—and learn what you can do to make your vehicle a less desirable target for thieves, year round!
The bad news: Motor vehicle theft is up.
Motor vehicle theft is up 3.1% nationally, says the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Data report. While thieves may admire glamorous sports cars and luxury sedans, that's not what they’re generally stealing. In terms of new cars, the Nissan Altima, Chrysler 200, and Toyota Camry were the most often stolen cars in 2016, reports Forbes. The Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Ford F-150, and Chevrolet Silverado topped the list of most stolen among used cars. Overall, used cars tend to be stolen more often than newer models, simply because they have less sophisticated anti-theft technology. In other words, car thieves want your car, but they don’t want to put in too much work.
The good news: You can help prevent car theft.
Which brings us to the question: How can you protect your car from getting stolen or broken into? According to SaferCar.gov, nearly half of all vehicles are stolen when drivers fail to take some pretty simple precautions. Here are easy ways you can help protect your vehicle and increase your safety.
Lock the doors and close the windows. Don’t make it easy for a thief to break in or reach in and snatch anything of value! Would you leave your fridge open while at work and expect the dog to stay out of it? Probably not. Make it a habit to double check that your doors are locked and your windows are closed when parking your vehicle.
Don’t leave your car running. It can be tempting to leave your car running when you're just popping in and out of the store, but this also makes it pretty easy for a thief to hop in and drive away. Also, it's illegal to leave your car running and unattended in 30 states plus the District of Columbia. Laws vary based on the circumstance and state, but they all have the same goal in mind: to help prevent your car from getting stolen!
Park in well-lit areas. If you’re parking your car somewhere after the sun has gone down, try to find a spot underneath a streetlight that's well lit and well trafficked. Thieves may be less likely to rummage through a car with a spotlight on them and a potential audience just around the corner.
Hide any valuables. Better yet, avoid keeping valuables in your car at all. If a thief must choose between a seemingly empty car or one with a laptop, cell phone, or wallet on the passenger seat, guess which one they’ll choose? If you must leave something important in your car, put it in your trunk before you reach your destination. Experienced thieves have been known to stake out parking lots, look for drivers transferring things to their car trunk, and then break into the trunk.
Invest in an anti-theft system. Whether it’s a steering wheel lock, a window alarm, or an ignition cut-off system, anything that makes a thief work harder could also make your car safer. If it will slow them down or potentially get them caught, they’ll probably pass.
Your car is essential to your everyday life. Without it, things just wouldn't be the same. At your local Firestone Complete Auto Care, we understand that your car doesn’t have to be worth a lot to be worth protecting. Use these tips to keep your car safer and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks!