Did you realize that auto theft has been on the rise since 2019? According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), “there were 873,080 auto thefts in 2020, a 9.2 percent increase over 2019.”¹ While you might think you will never be a victim of auto theft, you should never be too sure. Your car may not get stolen, but that’s not all criminals are looking for when it comes to valuable items to steal. We’ve compiled a (non-exhaustive) list of valuable car items you should be aware.of and protect, even in your own driveway.
1. Catalytic Converter
Catalytic converters are easy, high valued theft items because they can be removed from the exterior of your car without breaking and entering. Not only are they easier to access than any valuable item that might be in the car, but they can be sold to metal scrap yards for a few hundred dollars, easy. Did we mention that they also take less than one minute to uninstall from your car? Criminals are looking for easy money and catalytic converters are definitely a target, especially for vehicles that sit higher off the ground, since it allows easier access to get underneath (where the catalytic converter is located). Be on the look out!
2. Important Documentation
Believe it or not, your personal documents can be of high value to potential burglars, especially when it comes to identity theft. Avoid any potential by only keeping absolutely necessary documents in your vehicle.
3. Technological Devices
This includes both music players and portable GPS devices. These are easily target items, especially when visible from the car windows. When leaving your car, make sure these items are hidden from plain sight, like under your seat or in the glove box, to avoid break in or theft.
The biggest (and easiest) way to prevent theft of these items is by parking in well-lit areas or inside your home’s garage, if possible. Make sure your car’s security system is calibrated and in place, so if anyone tries to get in, it will immediately sound and deter the burglar from further entry.