This might seem like common sense, but apparently it’s a problem.
More drivers are getting their cars stolen by practically handing over the keys to thieves by leaving them in the car. A new National Insurance Crime Bureau study reports car thefts for this reason are up 31 percent since 2013.
Last year, a car was reported stolen every 45 seconds. One of every eight thefts was a freebie for the thief, thanks to the keys or key fob being left inside.
In 2015, there were 57,096 thefts, a 22 percent increase over the previous year. The top five states that posted the most vehicle thefts with keys during this reporting period were California (22,580), Texas (11,003), Florida (9,952), Ohio (8,623) and Nevada (8,073).
The basics are this. All the anti-theft technology in the world won’t do a bit of good if you don’t lock up, or leave your keys in there.
Here’s what the NICB advises:
- Lock the vehicle, set the alarm and take all keys or FOBS.
- Do not leave the garage door opener in the vehicle.
- Take a picture of your registration on your cell phone and do not leave the registration or other papers with personal information in the vehicle.
- Never leave a car unlocked and running to warm it up or while stopping for a quick cup of coffee. It only takes a moment for the opportunistic thief to jump inside and drive off.