Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Facts, Stats and Figures: Auto Thefts

The number of auto thefts in Overland Park during 2013 decreased to their lowest number over the last 16 years. A total of 283 vehicles were taken during the year which is a 13% decrease from the previous year.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report, a motor vehicle is stolen every 40 seconds in the United States. The color of the most commonly stolen vehicle is white, while the color of the least commonly stolen one is tan. 

The list below depicts the make/model of the most commonly stolen vehicles in Kansas during 2012.

1 Honda Accord                         1997
2 Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size) 1994
3 Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)         2003
4 Honda Civic                                 2000
5 Dodge Pick-Up (Full Size)         1998
6 Chevrolet Pick-Up (Small Size) 1996
7 Ford Taurus                                 1999
8 Dodge Caravan                         2000
9 Dodge Intrepid                         2000
10 Chevrolet Impala                         2002

Car Theft StatisticsAccording to Consumer Reports, here are a few things you can do to help protect your car from theft:

Lock your car. It is common sense that many thefts happen to unlocked vehicles. The goal is to make your car less desirable than others, and a locked door is a simple deterrent. 

Never leave your car running unattended and always take your keys with you. Otherwise, you are inviting thieves to drive off with your car. 

Keep windows closed when you park and leave your vehicle. A slender arm or clothes hanger can reach in through even a narrow opening to unlock the door.

Don’t store valuables or expensive electronic devices in plain sight. It’s best to take portable devices with you. 
Park in a well-lighted, public place when running errands and when at home. A car will, obviously, be safer in a garage than in a driveway or at a curb. 

Use a visual warning device, such as a blinking light, as a deterrent. An alarm can be effective, but it is even better if the crook doesn’t break into the vehicle in the first place. If your car is not factory-equipped with these features, they can be installed at a local automotive stereo shop. 

Smart keys or a fuel cut-offs system, aka engine immobilizer, are standard on many late-model cars and can add security. Thieves won’t steal a car they cannot start. 

For advanced protection, install a GPS or radio frequency tracking system in your vehicle to help police find it.