It’s a car owner’s nightmare: You come to the parking spot where you left your prized ride, and it’s nowhere to be found. You search the parking lot, hoping you just forgot where you parked your wheels, but no luck. Your car’s gone.
It’s a problem faced in many areas in the U.S., but in some areas, the risk seems to be declining. Two years ago, Laredo, Texas, topped the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s list of vehicle theft hotspots, with more than 1,960 vehicles stolen in 2009. Today, Laredocar thefts have plunged by 53 percent. Laredomirrors a trend sweeping the United States. Thanks to tougher law enforcement and advanced anti-theft security systems, car insurance claims for stolen vehicles are at an eight-year low in the United States.
Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for NICB, says that anti-theft devices are a true game-changer. Once only available in luxury cars, today, anti-theft devices are affordable additions to everything from entry-level to luxury cars.
Proactive community policing campaigns are also educating drivers about common-sense anti-theft measures. For example, the NICB estimates that half of all stolen vehicles have the driver’s keys in the ignition or unlocked car doors. Car owners may think it’s safe to leave their keys in the ignition while making a quick stop at the ATM or a convenience store, but doing so creates an easy opportunity for would-be car thieves. Community policy programs designed to reduce the number of stolen car insurance claims are reminding drivers to follow common sense when parking their cars.
You may also want to consider looking into VIN etching which can help to deter car thieves and recover your stolen vehicle.