How To Keep Your Car From Being Stolen On July 4th

NICB Tips to prevent vehicle theft - Remove your keys from the ignition, lock your doors/close your windows, and park in a well-lit area
July 4th isn’t just a popular holiday for watching fireworks. It’s also a popular holiday for car thieves. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that more than 8,000 vehicles were stolen on the July 4th holiday from 2014-2017. The holiday also makes #7 on the NICB’s most recent Holiday Theft Report released last October. The report is based on 2017 data, when more than two thousand cars were stolen on Independence Day.

2017 Holiday Vehicle Thefts

  1. New Year’s Day (2,469)
  2. President’s Day (2,312)
  3. Halloween (2,297)
  4. Memorial Day (2,290)
  5. Labor Day (2,180)
  6. Valentine’s Day (2,169)
  7. Independence Day (2,124)
  8. New Year’s Eve (1,962)
  9. Christmas Eve (2,054)
  10. Thanksgiving (1,777)
  11. Christmas Day (1,664)

“Vehicle theft impacts individuals in many ways and none of them are pleasant. It’s not just the loss of your transportation, it also involves possible financial loss, time away from work, securing alternative means of transportation and dealing with the criminal justice system should an arrest and prosecution materialize,” said Joe Wehrle, president and chief executive officer for NICB.

4 Layers of Protection

The NICB suggests using four “layers of protection” to guard against vehicle theft:

1. Common Sense — the NICB says driver should always:

  • Remove your keys from the ignition
  • Lock your doors /close your windows
  • Park in a well-lit area

2. Warning Device — the NICB recommends using anti-theft warning devices such as:

  • Audible alarms
  • Steering column collars
  • Steering wheel/brake pedal lock
  • Brake locks
  • Wheel locks
  • Theft deterrent decals
  • Identification markers in or on vehicle
  • VIN etching
  • Micro dot marking

3. Immobilizing Device — the NICB also recommends using devices to prevent would-be thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-offs
  • Kill switches
  • Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers
  • Wireless ignition authentication

4. Tracking Device —the NICB also suggests getting a tracking device. In the event your car is stolen it can help police track down your car and make a recovery. Some systems employ “telematics” which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

By following the NICB’s tips, you’ll reduce the risk of your car being stolen not just on July 4th, but every day of the year.

For more on vehicle theft prevention, head to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
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