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MSP offer vehicle theft prevention tips

July 7th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland State Police, along with the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, are reminding motorists to take simple steps to prevent having their vehicle stolen.

The warnings come as July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. In Maryland, a car is stolen every 40 minutes, while one is stolen every 45 seconds in the United States.

Overall, 50 percent of the vehicles stolen had the keys/key fobs left inside the vehicle while 60 percent of the vehicles stolen were left unlocked. In addition, more than 66 percent of vehicle thefts occur at night and 95 percent of the vehicles stolen had no anti-theft devices.

National surveys reveal that 33 percent of drivers left their vehicle while it was running and driver error is to blame for up to 50 percent of vehicle thefts (keys in ignition, key fobs left in vehicle, windows left down, unlocked doors, etc…)

According to the Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, 95 percent of stolen vehicles had no apparent anti-theft device and 22 percent of vehicles are never recovered. In 2018, there were 12,146 vehicles stolen in Maryland and 751,771 vehicles stolen in the United States overall.

Simply taking a few steps greatly reduce the chances of a motorist having their vehicle stolen. These steps include:

  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Do not leave the area while your vehicle is running.
  • Do not leave your keys/key fobs in your vehicle.
  • Always stow away your valuables.

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