Can You Prevent Auto Theft?
Having your car stolen evokes some feelings, none of which are good. You feel violated, you feel angry, and you may even feel sad. However, educating yourself and your family can help prevent auto thefts. It is also a wise to carry comprehensive insurance that covers stolen vehicles. Even if your vehicle is an older model, you are still at risk to be a victim of auto theft. To see what carriers we work with click here.
Quick Auto Theft Facts for Colorado
Colorado’s Top Ten Stolen Vehicles in 2016 according to the Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
- Dodge Ram Pickup
- Ford F-250
- Ford F-150
- Jeep Cherokee
- Subaru Impreza
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Camry
If you happen to drive one of these vehicles, there are ways that you can protect yourself and your vehicle.
- Locking your doors when you aren’t in the vehicle, if it is parked, lock it.
- Park in well-lit areas, parking near a light or building can ward off thieves.
- Don’t keep your spare keys in the car, please don’t hide a key on the vehicle, car thieves know the tricks.
- Always hide valuables in the trunk or hidden from view, leaving an iPad or purse out on a seat is like personally inviting someone to take your stuff.
- Try to report any suspicious activity to the nonemergency police line, get a strange feeling from someone lurking around the parking lot, call.
Where you live can also be a factor in if you will be a victim of an auto theft.
The Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center lists the following as the top cities for auto crime.
If you live in one of the hot cities, don’t start packing up and looking for a new location. Law enforcement is hard at work creating new and innovative ways to stop auto crime.
Auto Theft Prevention Initiatives in Colorado
AUTOMATED LICENSE PLATE READERS (ALPR)-This technology uses optical character recognition to automatically read license plate information, gathered by a unique vehicle outfitted with many cameras that can read hundreds of plates a minute while running. The system then runs the data through a national or local database, alerting the officer if there is a match.
BAIT CAR PROGRAM-A bait car is a police-owned vehicle meant to entice car thieves. Once a thief takes the car, police dispatchers use GPS to monitor location, speed, and direction. Whatever is happening inside of the vehicle is being recorded with audio and video. Once the dispatcher coordinates with law enforcement and the officers are in position, the engine is shut down with the click of a button, allowing for a quick arrest.
VIN ETCHING -A VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, is a unique identifier etched into a car’s windshield or windows. VIN etching makes selling parts more challenging and risky for the thief and increases the odds of a vehicle’s successful recovery. When buying a used car, always check the VIN to ensure it is legit and not stolen.
COLORADO AUTO THEFT CHECK UP -Developed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), this theft deterrent is a quick, three-part questionnaire designed to help you determine how many layers of protection you need for your vehicle(s).
PUFFER AWARENESS -“Puffer” is the term used to describe the exhaust vapors that come out of a running car’s tailpipe in cold weather. To a thief, this is an indicator a car as unlocked with keys in the ignition. Colorado law enforcement and community partners have come together to educate the public about the dangers of leaving your car running unattended.
The Reality of the Situation
Law enforcement needs the publics in deterring auto theft; the best way to do that is to be educated and aware of your surroundings.
- 39% of Coloradans don’t know leaving a car running unattended is illegal
- 34% of Coloradans admit they have left their car running unattended
- 48% of Coloradans know a victim of auto theft
- 40-50% of vehicle theft is due to driver error, which included leaving car doors unlocked and keys still in the ignition or on the seats
- 199 “puffer” car thefts occurred in 2016, with an average of 17 stolen per month
- Friday and Monday showed the most activity for auto theft, while Sunday showed the least
- Data indicates there is a higher rate of auto theft from July through December
- Favorite locations for thieves to steal cars are residences and parking lots, including garages
- 3/4 of all commuter vehicles stolen are model years 2009 or older
- Colorado reported 18,047 stolen cars in 2016, an average of 347 stolen per week and a 21.55% rise from 2015
Do you have the right coverage in place to cover theft, please contact us today for a comprehensive review of your auto insurance policy.