Last year in the United States, every 45 seconds, there was a stolen vehicle reported. Out of these thefts, one out of eight was because the driver left their FOB or keys inside their vehicle.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), this is a growing problem. In 2015, there were over 57,000 thefts which was an over 20 percent increase from the prior year and this type of theft has seen an over 30 percent increase over the past few years.
This number could be higher than what’s shown in the reports since many people who leave their FOB or keys inside their vehicles won’t admit to it.
Joe Wehrle, NICB’s CEO and President,says that even though anti-theft technology over the past 25 years has reduced the number of thefts tremendously, if you leave your keys in the car or don’t lock up, it won’t help. A false sense of security can lead to major inconvenience and financial loss for the vehicle owner.
Wehrle goes on to say that when you leave your vehicle unlocked with your FOB or keys inside, you are giving a thief the chance to not just steal your car, but all your possessions that are inside it too, including your personal information if you are among the many others who leave their registration in their glove compartment.
Not to mention, law enforcement reports that the thieves steal the vehicle, drive it to the owner’s home and burglarized the owner’s home before they even realized their car was stolen.
The NICB recommends that drivers:
- Take all FOBs and keys out of their vehicle, lock it and set their car alarm.
- Don’t keep your registration in your car or any other documentation with your personal information on it (take a photo of your registration instead).
- Don’t keep your garage door opener in your car.
- Don’t leave your vehicle running and unlocked for any reason, even to make a quick coffee stop or warm it up.
There were over 147,000 vehicle thefts during the years 2013 through 2015 where they keys were left inside. The number of thefts which in the year 2013 was at 43,643 increased by 31 percent by the year 2015 where the number was 57,096.
During these years, California had the most car thefts at 22,580 with Texas coming in second at 11,003. Hawaii was the only state that didn’t have any reports of vehicle theft due to the FOB or keys being left in it.
Saturday seemed to see the most thefts with over 22,000 while Monday and Friday followed with over 21,000, according to day-of-week data.
Those with proper auto insurance can rest assured that they have coverage in accordance with their policy in event of such a theft.