All tricks and no treats: Beware of auto theft on Halloween


Chalk it up to Halloween mischief or maybe just the effect of a full moon!

Whatever it is, there has been a notable spike in auto theft on October 31 over the past five years vs. the average daily theft totals on days that aren’t Halloween! That’s according to a new analysis from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

All tricks and no treats: Beware of auto theft on Halloween

What can you do to prevent this crime?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motor vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds in America. Only 57% of those vehicles reported as stolen are recovered.

Sometimes car theft may be beyond your control. For example, instances of crooks using laptops to break into newer car models have been captured on video.

But other times preventing the theft in the first place is very doable. About half of all car theft is a crime of opportunity. Leaving the keys in the car when you’re out and about running errands is the number one situation that a crook can capitalize on, according to the NHTSA. So don’t do it!

Here’s another thing you can do to deter thieves: Hide your owner’s manual! Some thieves have been known to use the owner’s manual to get replacement keys to vehicles they want to steal.

Here’s what AAA suggests you do to prevent auto theft:

  • Always lock your vehicle with the windows closed.  Even if you park your vehicle in a garage, this simple measure is added security. 
  • Never leave belongings out in the open in your car as they could tempt thieves.
  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle or leave your vehicle running any time you are not in it.
  • Keep your vehicle in secure, well-lit areas. When possible, park in a locked garage. Also, consider installing a motion-activated floodlight that illuminates the place where your car is parked.
  • Use anti-theft or automatic tracking devices. If your vehicle wasn’t equipped with an alarm or hidden tracking device when purchased, have one installed.
  • Remove spare keys from vehicle. Never hide a spare ignition key in your vehicle. Remove keys from under floor mats, etc.

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