Did you know a vehicle is stolen approximately every 45 seconds in the United States? The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) supports Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, held each July by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in order to remind drivers to be cautious and protect their automobiles.
July and August are the busiest months for auto thieves. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), approximately 3,000 vehicles were stolen from the metropolitan areas of Jackson, Hattiesburg and Gulfport/Biloxi in 2014. The estimated value of vehicles stolen nationwide reaches nearly $4.1 billion each year, with 45 percent of stolen vehicles never recovered.
According to the NICB’s 2013 Hot Wheels report created from data submitted by law enforcement agencies, the top ten most stolen vehicles in Mississippi were:
2004 Chevrolet Silverado
2006 Ford F-150
2006 Chevrolet Impala
2012 Nissan Altima
2007 Honda Accord
2003 Dodge Ram
1999 GMC Sierra
1996 Ford Explorer
2009 Chevrolet Malibu
2011 Toyota Camry
Research indicates that 40 to 50 percent of vehicle thefts are due at least in part to owner or driver carelessness, making a thief’s job easier. To prevent your car from being susceptible to theft, MDOT suggests these tips:
Make sure all car windows and doors are closed and locked.
Park in well-lit areas.
Never leave valuables out it the open in your vehicle. If you can’t take them with you then put them in the trunk and cover them up.
Always keep your keys with you.
If possible, invest in an audible or visible antitheft system or device such as a horn alarm or a steering-wheel lock. You can also be a part of the solution by notifying authorities when you see someone attempting to break into a vehicle.
Help MDOT spread the word about preventing vehicle theft in Mississippi by following @MississippiDOT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share your prevention tips by using the hashtag #protectyourride.