Attention, car owners: you really need to stop leaving your cars unlocked with the key or electronic fob inside. That common-sense warning comes from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a not-for-profit organization funded by insurance companies to find ways to track and prevent insurance fraud and auto theft. At least one in eight vehicle thefts happen when someone takes advantage of keys left in a car, the group notes. Stop leaving your keys in unlocked cars.
Actually, the proportion of car thefts that happen when people leave keys in an unlocked car may be higher than that: people may not want to admit when their cars have been stolen using this low-tech method. That might save the insurance customers some dignity, but also skews crime statistics.
Stealing a car can lead to other crimes, too: stashing your registration and other paperwork inside the car means that a thief has your personal information and home address, and they know that you probably aren’t home.
“We have reports from our law enforcement partners that car thieves have stolen the car, driven it to the residence and burglarized the home before the owner even knew the vehicle was missing,” explains NICB president and CEO Joe Wehrle.
What does the NICB recommend, then? Don’t leave your keys in the unlocked car, even if it’s just to grab a cup of coffee or another errand where you think you’ll never be out of sight of the vehicle.
The group also recommends taking a photo of your registration and keeping it on your phone, instead of keeping it and any other paperwork with your name and address in the vehicle.
Finally, it recommends not keeping a garage door opener in the vehicle to keep car thieves from having access to your home, which seems to defeat the entire purpose of having a garage door opener.
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist