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Warning to Public: Holiday Season Auto Thefts

As stated in several of our previous newsletters, the United States is STILL experiencing an alarming upward trend in vehicle thefts, catalytic converter thefts, and carjackings, with 2023 NICB data showing approximately 500,000 vehicles stolen in the first half of the year, and they don’t expect it to slow down, especially with the holidays coming up.

This year, we wrote about it here and here.

To make matters worse, the Holiday Season brings an increased criminal threat to include violent crime and auto thefts, during a time where law enforcement resources are already worn thin.

Shoppers are encouraged to remain vigilant, alert, and aware. In years past, NICB noted that, “Criminals are searching for unlocked vehicles to take personal belongings and shopping goods, or to steal the car itself. Most holiday shoppers encounter a number of distractions, from heavy traffic to crowded stores, making auto theft and carjacking more probable. Vehicle owners must be aware of their surroundings and safeguard their vehicles to reduce the possibility of being a victim.”

As insurance industry professionals, we too anticipate seeing the impact firsthand with an influx of related claims.

The NICB offers the following tips to help holiday shoppers protect themselves (and ourselves!):

  • “Roll up your windows, lock your doors, and take the keys or fob with you.”

  • “Park in well-lit areas and, when possible, with security personnel and camera surveillance.”

  • “Keep shopping bags, cell phones, purses, and other personal property out of sight.”

  • “Do not be distracted—have your keys ready to enter your car and be aware of your surroundings.”

  • “Consider an immobilizing or tracking device for your vehicle.”

  • “If confronted by a suspect, remain calm and cooperate. Be a good witness and call 911 when you are able to do so.”

  • “If your vehicle is stolen, report the theft to the police and contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible.”

Safe and happy shopping wishes from ICU!

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