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AAA: Car Thefts Are on the Rise

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AAA is reporting that vehicle thefts are on the rise. Figures from the Insurance Information Institute show there were 810,400 vehicle thefts in 2020, a rise of 11.8% compared to the year prior (2019).


New York was ranked 13th in number of vehicle thefts. The top five states were California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, and Washington. Triple A states that police in multiple areas within New York are reporting an up-tick in thefts this year alone.

News is even worse for Kia and Hyundai drivers after a Tik Tok challenge targets the two car brands in vehicle theft by using a USB charging cord to start the car. New York has been one of the states affected by the recent “challenge” to a point where free steering wheel locks have been offered to owners of the affected vehicles.

AAA suggests to prevent your vehicle from being targeted in a theft to use these theft protection tips:

  • Be Aware
    • Almost half of vehicle thefts can be prevented by the owner.
      • Park in well-lit area
      • Lock the doors and close all windows
      • Remove spare keys from inside vehicle
      • Move valuables and other items out of view
  • Deterrence
    • If a vehicle is easy to break-into and escape, chances are thieves will be attracted to it
      • Purchase a steering wheel lock
      • Brake pedal locks
      • Theft deterrent stickers
      • Audible alarm systems
  • Immobilization
    • Immobilization devices prevent a vehicle from being hot-wired. Most new vehicles already come with such technology, but aftermarket products are available to older vehicles
      • Smart keys
      • Fuse cut-offs
      • Kill switches
      • Starter or fuel pump disablers
      • Wireless ignition authentication system
  • Tracking
    • Tracking devices will emit a signal to police or a monitoring station when a vehicle is stolen.

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