The month of July marks National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month in the United States. The New Rochelle Police Department joins the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) and corporate partners located throughout the world in commitment to increasing awareness and prevention of vehicle crimes while promoting proactive measures to protect vehicles from theft and burglary.
IAATI law enforcement and insurance members report most vehicle thefts are crimes of opportunity and therefore preventable. Simple steps taken by owners and drivers can help to reduce these crimes of opportunity. These steps include:
- Locking vehicle doors and remembering to close all windows and sunroofs
- Removing keys, and spare keys, from your vehicle
- Parking in a garage or behind a locked gate in well-lit areas whenever possible
- Removing any documentation that could be used to steal your identity
- Removing all guns and weapons from a parked vehicle
- Using additional security devices to assist in safeguarding vehicles from theft
- Safeguarding your car keys at all times
- NEVER leave a vehicle running while unattended
When everyone does their part to combat vehicle theft there are No Regrets to Lock it or Lose it.”
Crime data shows a motor vehicle was stolen every 44 seconds in the United States in 2019, and more than 721,800 owners and drivers fell victim to vehicle theft last year, resulting in a $6.4 billion economic loss. In 2020 Interpol’s Stolen Motor Vehicle Task Force tracked 248,976 motor vehicles reported stolen throughout the world.
New Rochelle reported 59 stolen vehicles in 2020; resulting in a $523,136 economic loss for the city. New York ranks 10th in total number of thefts in the U.S., and 49th for rate of theft (thefts per 100,000 residents). Preliminary reports by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) indicate a sharp increase in US vehicle thefts for 2020; final data will be released in Fall 2021.
Paul Thomas, IAATI 1st Vice President, states, “We all must take a no regrets approach and always ensure we lock our vehicle each time we leave it. This means taking your keys with you and ensuring there are no spare keys left in the car.”
Too often, we give offenders a ‘free ride’ by leaving our cars unlocked or the keys inside. Unfortunately, offenders then go on and use these stolen vehicles to commit multiple other crimes, which means many others in our community also become a victim from a single auto theft offense.”
Help us take a stance against vehicle crimes and have NO REGRETS Lock it or Lose It. For more information and theft prevention tips, visit iaati.org.