released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows a total of 22,879 vehicles were reported stolen on the 11 holidays in 2018 covered in its latest report. NICB theft data is pulled from the National Crime Information Center's (NCIC) stolen vehicle file.
New Year's Day tallied the most holiday thefts with 2,571. It was followed, in descending order, by Presidents' Day (2,380), Halloween (2,275), Labor Day (2,235) and Memorial Day (2,167).
California was the number one state with the most holiday vehicle thefts in 2018 with 4,797. It was followed by, in descending order, Texas (2,144), Florida (1,322), Washington (819) and Georgia (778).
In 2018, there was an average of 2,199 vehicle thefts each day. While this report just looks at the 11 holidays, everyday vehicle theft is a problem across the nation.
Here are four “layers of protection” recommended by the NICB to help drivers protect their vehicles from theft:Use Common Sense
— the commonsense approach to protection is the easiest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. You should always:
Use A Warning Device
- Remove your keys from the ignition
- Lock your doors /close your windows
- Park in a well-lit area
— the second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:
Use A Immobilizing Device
- 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
— the third layer of protection is a device which prevents 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:
Use a Tracking Device
- Smart keys
- Fuse cut-offs
- Kill switches
- Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers
- Wireless ignition authentication
— the final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. 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.