Published: 02-01-2012Helpful information and tips to keep your car safe.
In the United States, a car is stolen every 26.4 seconds. If your vehicle is stolen, it can cause both financial and emotional stress. Auto theft is often a crime of opportunity, and thieves target those who make it easy to steal their cars. This winter season, the Circuit Attorney's Office has compiled helpful information and tips to help keep your car safe.
For the first time since 2002, car thieves prefer American-made cars over foreign cars. In Missouri, the top stolen cars are the Ford Taurus, Dodge Intrepid, and Pontiac Grand Prix. There are several ways that you can prevent car theft and tampering. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, one-third of people admit that they have left their car unattended while it was running. During the winter, it is tempting to leave your car running to warm up in the morning. However, this can make you a very easy target for thieves.
Another mistake people often make is leaving their valuables in the car. According to the FBI, there was nearly $4.5 billion lost due to motor vehicle theft in 2010. There are several simple ways you can avoid becoming part of this statistic. Don't leave items within sight when you park your car. Always put valuables, purses, or other items in the trunk. Thieves are much less likely to break into a car if they cannot see what it has to offer.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends placing four levels of protection on your vehicle. First, common sense. Always lock your car and take the keys with you. Second, install a warning device. Warning devices come with both visible and audible options. Third, install an immobilizing device. These include "kill switches," fuel cut offs, and smart keys. Finally, have a tracking device. A tracking device such as OnStar uses GPS technologies to help police locate your car if it is stolen.
You can help prevent car theft by being aware. If you see suspicious activity, call 911.
Circuit Attorney's Office
City of St. Louis