Protect Your Trip: AAA Offers Tips to Prevent Vehicle Theft | Idaho

BOISE – July is Auto Theft Prevention Month, and AAA is reminding drivers to take steps to protect their cars.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 804,000 vehicles were stolen in 2020, costing owners more than $7 billion in losses. That number was an increase of nearly 12% from 2019. Only 56% of all stolen vehicles are ever recovered.

According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, the states with the most stolen vehicles in 2019 were California, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

“Thieves are very good at what they do, so you want to make sure your vehicle isn’t an attractive target.” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “Even simple efforts to improve visibility or slow down thieves for just a few seconds could mean the difference between a damaged or stolen vehicle and a thief moving on to an easier opportunity.”

To help protect your vehicle in the future, AAA offers the following advice to citizens:

  1. Park in well-lit areas.
  2. Close and lock all doors and windows when you park.
  3. Hide valuables out of sight, like in the glove box or trunk..
  4. Do not leave your keys in or near your car.
  5. Do not leave the area while your vehicle is moving.

“Most vehicle thefts are crimes of opportunity,” Count said. “If yours is stolen, you will be facing a very expensive replacement in today’s market for new and used vehicles.”

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