| December 7, 2022

Auto Theft is on the Rise; 7 Tips to Protect Your Vehicle

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A viral social trend is causing dramatic spikes in car theft

Cities across the U.S. are suddenly seeing a dramatic uptick in auto theft, and many believe this hike is linked to a viral social craze.

In the video, a person demonstrates how to start a car without a key by using a screwdriver and USB phone charge to hot-wire the vehicle, using some particularly vulnerable car models as examples.

Certain cars like Kia and Hyundai models that were made before November 2021 are particularly at risk, and now these automakers plan to roll out security kits starting in the fall. Major cities like Chicago have seen a drastic increase in Kia and Hyundai car thefts since 2021 and a dramatic spike since July.

7 tips to prevent auto theft

As these companies navigate how to protect their customers from this security loophole, learn how you can safeguard your vehicle in the meantime.

1. Park in well-lit areas

Be aware of your surroundings. It’s critical to park in well-lit, public areas where car thieves do not want to be seen. If you can, park in an area near a security camera.

2. Take your key fob with you

For cars that have a push-button start instead of a traditional key, make sure you take the key fob with you wherever you go instead of leaving it in the car.

3. Install an immobilizer system

An engine immobilizer is a type of anti-theft technology that uses a computer chip to help an engine recognize a corresponding key. Installing one will block thieves from hot-wiring your car.

4. Install an audible alarm

If your car doesn’t come with one, the NHTSA recommends you install an audible alarm system that can emit a loud noise if someone attempts to break into your vehicle.

5. Install a tracking system

A tracking system, or a vehicle recovery system, uses wireless and/or GPS technology to create a signal with your vehicle’s location and send to police. If your car does get stolen, this can help police catch the thief much quicker.

6. Avoid leaving valuables in your car

Never leave visible items that would attract a thief, such as a purse or cell phone. If you must leave anything of value in the car at all, make sure it’s out of sight – either stashed hidden in the trunk, console storage, or under your car seat.

7. Always lock your doors

Even if you feel like you’re in a safe area and just need to leave your car for a second, it’s always best to lock it anyway to be safe.

Contact your lawyer to learn more about auto safety

Auto theft is on the rise, and it’s vital you know how to prevent it and also what your rights are if your vehicle gets stolen. Get a consultation with your LegalShield lawyer to learn more.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist, and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.

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