As automotive technology has transformed society, the problem of auto-theft has also spread worldwide. This summer for example, police in India re-arrested a man named as a defendant in over 130 auto theft cases during his lengthy criminal career. Officers apprehended the 77-year old in a stolen vehicle on his way to sell the car to a scrap dealer. The septuagenarian told them he hunted for automobiles lacking security systems.
Automakers have devised a variety of methods to combat vehicle thefts. These include audible alarms, sophisticated auto engine immobilizing and recovery systems, and steering wheel locks. Car thefts in the United States have trended downwards since 2003 with some distinct regional disparities. In 2015, the crime occurred with the greatest frequency in California. Car thefts happen least often in the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
North Carolina Vehicle Theft Statistics
Data compiled by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed in 2014, North Carolina experienced 3.9 auto thefts for every 1,000 registered vehicles. Thieves in our state most often targeted the Honda Accord (the most frequently stolen vehicle nationally, too). Other brands favored by thieves include: the Honda Civic, full-sized Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge pickups, the Toyota Camry, the Nissan Altima, the Dodge Caravan and the Chevrolet Impala. The Raleigh area sustained a total of 1,524 reported vehicle thefts during 2015.
Insurance companies indicate methods of car theft-related crimes have grown more sophisticated even as better auto-theft prevention systems have gained popularity. Today car thieves sometimes attempt to circumvent high tech security measures by gaining access to “smart” keys. They may switch VIN numbers to conceal thefts, too. Some criminals have used stolen identities to finance vehicles or to take out loans on them. (For this reason, police and insurance companies caution drivers never to leave mail unattended in an automobile; even if a thief does not abscond with the vehicle, stolen mail could place someone at high risk of sustaining an identity theft. You should also report an auto theft even if you recovered your vehicle.)
Tips For Preventing Auto Theft
To avoid becoming a victim of auto theft, taking a few simple precautions can prove helpful:
1. Never exit the vehicle (even briefly) while leaving the car running and the key in the ignition.
2. Never leave a key in a parked vehicle, always take the key (and any spare key) along with you.
3. Make a habit of locking your vehicle whenever you park.
4. Don’t leave money, personal possessions or shopping bags within view inside a parked vehicle.
5. Try and park in well-lit, secure locations.
6. Promptly repair broken or cracked windows and windshields and malfunctioning doors and door locking mechanisms; these problems could make breaking into a vehicle much easier.
Automakers continue to work on ways to enhance vehicle security. In the next few years, the advent of advanced biometric screening technology may help prevent some vehicle thefts.
Biometric fingerprint recognition systems have grown more widespread in recent years. This technology may eventually enable vehicles to distinguish between authorized and unauthorized drivers. Yet since both car-related criminal activities and crime prevention methods continue to evolve, taking common sense safety precautions to secure your auto remains a wise policy.
Call Us Soon
To help prepare your vehicle for winter weather in the Winston Salem, North Carolina area, call Carolina Mobile Auto Service at 336-765-8599 to schedule maintenance or repairs. By keeping your automobile in great condition, you’ll enjoy driving throughout the year!