Texas Observes Watch Your Car Month

Auto theft in Texas is a continuing problem, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the Texas Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority (MVCPA).

According to data gathered by MVCPA, more than 65,000 cars and trucks are stolen and almost 200,000 are burglarized each year across the Lone Star State.

“The summer months of July and August is the time for greatest thefts and break-ins,” said Bryan Wilson, MVCPA director. “There’s a reason why we say ‘Protect it. It’s yours.’ Thefts are still too high, and we need to get the word out and do a better job in securing our cars and belongings.”

“We need to help each other, as how much we pay for insurance is in part directly influenced by how often vehicles are stolen across Texas,” said Camille Garcia, director of communications and public affairs with the Insurance Council of Texas. “Oftentimes, all it takes is some basic, no-cost steps to reduce the likelihood your car is broken into or stolen.”

“Our independent data shows Texas has a long way to go in reducing auto thefts across the state,” said Fred Lohmann, NICB’s director of field operations for the Southwest Region. “For many people, after your home, a car is likely going to be the single most significant financial investment you make, and it’s important to take steps to protect your investment.”

In recognition of “Watch Your Car Month” by the Texas Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority, and the Insurance Council of Texas, the NICB recommends drivers follow its four layers of protection to guard against vehicle theft:

Common Sense. Vehicle owners should always:

Remove keys from the ignition
Lock your doors/close windows completely
Park in well-lit areas
Warning Devices. Popular devices include:

Audible alarms
Steering column collars
Steering wheel/brake pedal lock
Immobilizing Devices. These can prevent thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some examples are:

Smart keys
Fuse cut-offs
Kill switches
Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers
Wireless ignition authentication
Tracking Devices. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner, and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

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National Insurance Crime Bureau

Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, learning and development, government affairs and public affairs. The NICB is supported by more than 1,400 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $525 billion in insurance premiums in 2019, or more than 82% of the nation's property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95% ($241 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.

Frank Scafidi