July 4th Holiday Kicks Off Hottest Season For Vehicle Theft And National Vehicle Theft Protection Month
According to the FBI, July and August are the “hottest” months for vehicle theft. As the July 4th holiday—which has the one of the highest incidences of vehicle theft of all national holidays*— approaches, LoJack Corporation (NASDAQ: LOJN) and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) are embarking on an education effort — National Vehicle Theft Protection Month — to help owners protect their cars, motorcycles, construction equipment and commercial vehicles from today’s professional thieves.
Now in its sixth year, this year’s National Vehicle Theft Protection Month initiative features a new all-encompassing auto theft infographic that highlights the results of a new consumer intercept survey conducted by LoJack, along with the latest vehicle theft facts and stats. Also new this year are man-on-the-street and at-home video interviews featuring drivers answering a variety of vehicle theft-related questions.
*NICB’s 2010 National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Holiday Vehicle Theft Analysis
Survey Shows Consumers Care About Theft, But Leave Vehicles Highly Vulnerable
The new LoJack intercept survey, which was conducted among more than 4,500 consumers in four different U.S. cities in April and May 2012, revealed that the majority of people (79%) think about vehicle theft from occasionally to often; however, 36% don’t take any measures to protect their vehicles. Moreover, bad habits such as leaving a running vehicle unattended (45%) or parking a car and leaving it unlocked (23%) make vehicles highly vulnerable to today’s clever and opportunistic professional thieves.
There is also a growing link between car theft and identity theft, as thieves can not only drive away with a person’s vehicle, but their identity when documents containing personal information such as a vehicle registration or even bills are left in a vehicle. In fact, nearly one-third (32%) of respondents admitted to having left an electronic device or documents with personal information in plain view, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. A full 64% of consumers acknowledged to having their home address programmed into their GPS systems, enabling thieves the opportunity to drive right to the owner’s home, enter through the garage door and potentially burglarize their home.
LoJack Joins Forces with IAATI to Spread the Word About Vehicle Theft Protection
This year, LoJack is conducting National Vehicle Theft Protection Month with the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI), a highly respected organization comprised of some of the nation’s foremost law enforcement vehicle theft investigators and task force members who work every day to help minimize the costly issue of vehicle theft. Together, the two organizations will help spread the word to the public that vehicle theft is still a very significant problem and present ways in which consumers can keep their vehicles safe.
What Can Consumers Do to Keep Their Vehicles Safe?
Both LoJack and IAATI offer the following recommendations: by combining common sense approaches, theft prevention and immobilization devices and tracking/recovery systems, consumers can protect their vehicles from theft.
- The first important step: Use Common Sense Measures. Never leave keys in the vehicle with the engine running. Don’t hide a spare key in the vehicle. Close all windows and lock all doors when leaving your vehicle. Park in a well-lit area and, when at home, keep your vehicle in the garage. Don’t leave valuables visible in your car, particularly those items that include information on your identity. Don’t program your home address in your GPS system under “home” as it could lead thieves right to your house, where they could potentially enter it through a garage door opener in the car. Instead, program your home address under a general destination.
- The second step: Use Theft Prevention Products. A thief may be less inclined to steal your car if it has visible and audible warning devices like a wheel lock or alarm system. Immobilizers—which include smart keys, kill switches and fuel cut-off devices—can offer another means of protection. While the professionals can often disable these devices, they do offer another means of deterrence.
- The third step: Use a Tracking and Recovery System. Since thieves can disarm theft prevention devices and factory installed telematics systems, recovery systems provide the peace of mind that you’ll get your car back – often quickly – in the event it is stolen. Effective systems are directly integrated with and used by law enforcement, use Radio Frequency technology, which has proven to be optimal for recovering stolen vehicles, and are covert so they cannot be disengaged.