More and More Americans Are Abandoning Reason and Handing Their Car to Thieves
In terms of the most basic adult behaviors, not leaving your keys in the car falls right behind feeding yourself without help and going to the bathroom like a big boy. It’s an uncomplicated concept that can be easily adhered to by anyone who has access to hands.
Despite this, one out of every eight vehicles stolen in the U.S. had the keys left inside by a person that society somehow deemed fit to operate a motor vehicle. Common sense is on a steady decline — and it’s a boon for thieves.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported today that, last year, a vehicle was reported stolen once every 45 seconds in the United States. And every six-and-a-half minutes a stolen vehicle’s owner left their keys or fob inside.
That’s a 31-percent increase over the past three years, though the NICB suggests this figure is artificially low because many claimants are too embarrassed to admit they exist in a mental vacuum so perfect they cannot even remember to bring their car keys with them.
Out of the 147,434 people who fell victim to giving criminals complete unadulterated access to their vehicles between 2013 and 2015, California was the big winner with 22,580. However, the NICB says the top core-based statistical areas were actually in and around Las Vegas, Detroit, and Atlanta.
While keyless entry seems like a likely culprit for the uptick in forgetfulness, the NICB’s own statistics show that many of the stolen vehicles pre-date routine implementation of modern remote systems. It really does seem like people are just becoming less clever or more lazy. And the NICB tends to agree, as its own website urges drivers to never leave a car unlocked and running while “stopping for a quick cup of coffee.”
As current anti-theft technology still revolves on a thief not having access to your keys, there isn’t much you can do to avoid this new scourge of car crime if you’ve decided you absolutely must leave keys in the vehicle.
“Anti-theft technology has had a tremendous impact on reducing thefts over the past 25 years, but if you don’t lock it up, it’s not going to help,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle in a statement.
“Complacency can lead to a huge financial loss and inconvenience for the vehicle owner. Leaving a vehicle unlocked or with the key or fob inside gives a thief the opportunity to take not only the car, but also any possessions inside. It can also provide access to your personal information if the registration is left in the glove compartment,” Wehrle continued.
“We have reports from our law enforcement partners that car thieves have stolen the car, driven it to the residence and burglarized the home before the owner even knew the vehicle was missing.”
While most insurance providers are likely to cover even the most stupidity sponsored acts of theft, you can expect a lengthy investigation and a lot of extra questions about why you left your vehicle unsecured. Don’t worry, the questions won’t be about if you’re some kind of buck-toothed moron. They’ll likely just be trying to establish whether or not you are trying to commit fraud.
[Image: James086/ WikimediaCommons ( CC BY-SA 4.0)]
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This is how my sister's car was stolen. We also suspect that after they took her car, they copied the keys because it was stolen and found abandoned three more times within a two month period.
My car is a 2015 but it's an FCA product, and a manual transmission....I leave the keys in it all the time and it's usually running, I'm hoping some steals it, but no one bothers...