Reducing motor vehicle theft

Car Insurance and Theft Colourful Vector Illustration flat style

As of now, there is an average of 13 cars stolen every day in the City of Minneapolis. Nearly all those thefts were due to driver error. Vehicle theft is a multi-billion-dollar crime, with the cost of stolen vehicles coming in at nearly $6 billion or more a year. Of those vehicles, 75.4 percent were automobiles. This year we are on pace to be the worst in Minneapolis for vehicle theft. So, to help drivers keep their vehicles safe, the Minneapolis Police Department would like to offer some tips to keep you from becoming the latest victim of an auto theft.

A motor vehicle is stolen every 40.9 seconds in the United States.
The top 10 stolen vehicles in calendar year:

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Honda Accord
  3. Chevrolet Silverado
  4. Toyota Camry
  5. Ford F150
  6. Nissan Altima
  7. Toyota Corolla
  8. Ford F250
  9. Ford Ecoline
  10. Honda CR-V

Use common sense when parking and exiting your vehicle:

*Do not ever leave your vehicle running unattended.

*Take your vehicle’s key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.

*Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.

*Park in well-lit areas if possible.

*Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle.

What is ‘driving’ the rise in auto thefts is convenience; almost all auto thefts occur when the vehicle is left running unattended.  Someone or a group of people, usually juveniles or young adults, will come along and discover a vehicle running and take it. It is a mode of transportation for them. Rather than take a cab, bus, or use Uber or Lyft, they simply take an unattended vehicle and after arriving at their destination leave it abandoned.

Thieves want vehicle parts and valuable items too.
Radios and wheel covers aren’t the only popular stolen vehicle parts thieves take. They want whatever sells, from the mandated labeled parts to those that aren’t. Some of the most popular vehicle parts or valuable items stolen from vehicles include doors, engines, transmissions, air bags, radios, GPS units, cell phones, iPads, laptops, purses, and catalytic converters.

Protect your ride

There are numerous antitheft systems and devices designed to make vehicles more difficult to steal or easier to trace and recover. Here are how some of them work:

*Audible and Visible Devices: These devices, such as a horn alarm, deter theft by bringing attention to an unauthorized attempt to enter or steal a vehicle. Visible devices create a visual threat/warning/deterrence, such as the use of steering-wheel locks, as well as theft-deterrent decals, flashing lights and window etching.

*Immobilizing-Type Devices: These prevent thieves from bypassing a vehicle’s ignition system and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some incorporate computer chips in ignition keys or disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine.

*Vehicle Recovery Systems: These devices use electronic transmission technology that help law enforcement reveal the location of stolen vehicles—and possibly catch the thief in the act.

Where’s my ride?

If you are a victim of auto theft, follow these steps:

*Contact police immediately to file a stolen-vehicle report. You will need a copy of the police report and/or a case number to provide to your insurance company. You may also be asked to provide the following information: License plate number; make, model and color of your vehicle; and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and any identifying characteristics.

*Contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of your vehicle being stolen.

*If you find your vehicle before authorities do, contact the police and your insurance company immediately.