Vehicle theft trends change, but prevention strategies still require vigilance
In 2015, more than 16,000 vehicles were reported stolen in Arizona— just over 12,000 of these in Maricopa County alone, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The most popular cars for thieves in Arizona are Honda sedans and pickup trucks of all brands.
|3||Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size)||2004||850|
|4||Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)||2006||772|
|5||Dodge Pick-Up (Full Size)||2001||428|
|7||GMC Pick-Up (Full Size)||2015||246|
|9||Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||1994||207|
*Data from NICB Annual Report
Despite how large these numbers seem, the number of stolen vehicles in Arizona and Maricopa County has been decreasing significantly over the past ten years. Where the Phoenix Metro area used to be number one in the nation for auto theft, we’re now 80th. This decrease comes thanks to awareness and prevention education provided by the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority (AATA) and the crime prevention team at MCAO, in addition to our office partnering with law enforcement and aggressively prosecuting auto thieves.
How can you prevent auto theft?
Auto thieves use many different methods to steal cars, but the most common is punching in doors and windows, then either using “jiggle” keys or cracking the steering column to start the ignition. All too often, people simply leave their keys in their vehicle or leave the car running and unlocked in a driveway or parking lot – making the car an easy target for thieves.
Even as technology has changed over the years and more automation than ever before is included in cars, auto theft prevention messages remain the same. We’d like to remind you of these important prevention steps:
- Always lock your car doors. Take your keys with you and remove all your valuables from the car, even if it’s in your garage.
- Use theft deterrent devices regularly, like steering wheel locks, alarms and kill switches.
- Always park in well-lit areas.
- Remove personal and home address information from your car and your glove box. A few inches is all a car thief needs to pry the door open, crawl into your garage and steal your car – or worse, break into your home. Thieves will grab anything from your car that they can pick up quickly and run away with even faster. Never leave items such as laptops, company badges, iPads, cameras, weapons or wallets in your car, even if your car is parked in a garage overnight.