While automobile thefts nationwide are down, Arizona’s automobile thefts are slightly up, 1% giving us a spot in the top ten states with vehicle thefts. Today we’re going to talk about how to prevent car theft.
- Lock your car
- Don’t leave valuables or the garage door opener in the car
- If you do have valuables in the car, keep them out of plain sight
- If you have a car alarm, set it
- Park in a well-lit location
- Don’t leave your vehicle unlocked and running
The National Insurance Crime Bureau says vehicle owners should take a photo of their registration. No papers with personal information should ever be stored in the car. In the event the vehicle is stolen, you don’t want thieves to know anything about you or your family that they can use to target you in other ways.
If your car is stolen, contact the police first, and your insurance company second. Information you will need to report the theft include license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) and copy your registration. These will help police identify your vehicle if it’s found.
Technology is playing an essential role in lowering the theft rate. For example, Tesla has become renowned as being one of the hardest cars to steal. The anti-theft device records anyone who gets too close to the vehicle, and the Tesla requires a pin to drive. The GPS tracker notifies the owner on the exact location of the car, so they can relay that information to the police, resulting in 112 successful recoveries out of the 115 that have been stolen.
HERE ARE THE TOP TEN TYPES OF CARS WE SEE STOLEN IN ARIZONA:
2006 Chevrolet Pickup, full size.
1998 Honda Civic.
2006 Ford Pickup, full size.
1997 Honda Accord.
2004 Dodge Truck, full size.
2015 Nissan Altima.
2017 GMC PickUp, full size.
2007 Toyota Camry.
As you can see, many of them are older models, and they are not equipped with the tracking devices and other anti-theft measures that make them hard to steal. But, far from merely stealing a car to resell, many thieves steal a car so they can take it somewhere quiet to strip it.
Tailgate theft rose from 430 in 2010 to 1900 in 2015. Officials know that figure is higher, but people are reluctant to report it. It only takes 30 seconds for a thief to remove a tailgate, which only requires the use of simple tools. The payoff? Electronics and scrap metal, both of which they can get from a tailgate theft.
For truck owners, this can be big bucks: it’s estimated that a 2016 Ford F-250 King Ranch pickup tailgate costs $3k to replace. It’s not just private individuals: even dealerships have been targeted for tailgate theft.
Tailgate thefts have risen in Arizona: just last year, a man was arrested for the theft of $22,000 worth of tailgates from the Tempe area. He was tracked down by one of his victims, who ‘went undercover’ and bought back his tailgate, then called the police when his key fit the lock.
Another unpleasant possibility is the burglar who breaks into the family home, steals the car keys (because most people leave them in plain sight), loads the car up with items stolen from the house, and drives away. By making it a practice to hide keys, a family just might be spared. It’s like that nothing they can steal from your home will be as valuable as your car.
Watch Your Car is a program sponsored by the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority. Once enrolled, the car owner gets a decal, which indicates to law enforcement that the car is not normally operated between 1 am and 5 am, or within one mile of the international border. It permits law enforcement officers to stop the car if it is on the road between those hours or within a mile of the border. Car owners can find out more information and enroll here.
If you’re having a problem with one of your car locks or key, call us. An unlocked house or car is like a welcome mat for a car thief. B1 Locksmith is an automotive, residential and commercial locksmith service offering emergency lockout and transponder key services in the Phoenix Valley. Several Valley locations. (844) 821-5625. We offer commercial access control and security system services. We are committed to providing the best services for our customers. We duplicate any vehicle Smart key.