Holiday Vehicle Thefts on the Rise

The festive season is here and that means a lot of shopping, family gatherings, and holiday cheer. But it also means an increased risk of vehicle theft or break-ins. According to recent statistics, December is among the months with the highest rates for vehicle thefts or break-ins due to the high volume of people out and about. You’ve seen the stories on Nextdoor, Facebook, and your weekly Ring Camera updates. Vehicle theft and stolen property from vehicles are increasing—particularly over the holidays.  

Vehicle break-ins and theft usually peak over the holidays. At the Dec. 6 meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the department has chronicled increased activity at this time of year.  

” What we do see, and we caution, is people carrying bags of merchandise and their holiday gifts. Locking and securing and hiding those items out of view as they go back to their vehicles is an important strategy to prevent those vehicles [from] being targeted,” Moore said. He added, “There are thieves and individuals who prowl our shopping centers and look to the parking lots in an effort to identify merchandise that has been left inside those vehicles. They’ll burglarize that vehicle and take those items.” 

A few reasons for New Year’s vehicle theft are distractions, alcohol, and parking in unfamiliar locations. An NCIB spokesperson said, “People get drunk on New Year’s and that makes many otherwise ordinary, responsible adults …do things they might not do when sober.”  

Here are some recommendations that the NCIB has made for holiday goers this season in order to keep them and their car safe:

Always be aware of your surroundings.  

Many of us will be driving to and parking in new or unfamiliar locations during the holiday festivities. Keeping a careful eye out for suspicious behavior or environments. When pulling up and parking, take that extra moment to look around before leaving your car. 

Make sure your auto policy is up to date.  

It’s always better to be safe than sorry and there is no better way to enjoy the holidays than to not have that nagging feeling in the back of your mind about if you are truly protected in case the truly terrible does happen. 

Take that little bit of time this season to verify you’re fully up to date and covered on your auto policy, that way you can be fully in the moment in all your winter festivities. 

Roll up your windows, lock doors, and take the keys or fob.  

We’ve all done it. We’ve walked far away from our car, got to where we need to go, and then boom…that all too familiar feeling hits. Did I lock my car? Did I leave my keys in the car? So, we do the ritual pat of our pockets or jumble through our bag, but this time the keys aren’t there. It’s a lot like getting to the airport and wondering if you left the water running at home. It’s a real problem that plagues us all.  

This year let’s all just take that extra check of the door handle or extra click of the key alarm to make sure we’re all set and ready to go.  

Park in well-lit areas and, when possible, areas staffed by security. 

When possible, look for well-lit or secured locations. We know the holidays are already a hurried time, but it will be worth it, in the long run, to take that extra lap around looking for a well-lit parking spot or paying that extra fee for the paid and secure option when the latter consequence could be spending the rest of the holidays dealing with your car being stolen or insurance paperwork.

Park inside a personally owned garage or install motion sensor lights for the driveway.  

Both these options are great alternatives to the parking lot. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your car is safe and secure in its own garage. Motion sensor lights can also be a great deterrent for would-be thieves as it provides an extra layer of protection by lighting up the area when movement is detected.  

Install a GPS device. 

In addition to the above list, law enforcement officials suggest installing a vehicle theft recovery system like Elo GPS. With Elo GPS, you’re always connected to your car in real time and aware of the vehicle’s position. And with a 24/7 Stolen Recovery Hotline, Elo GPS-trained recovery specialists will help you navigate the reporting and recovery process as they did for this Witchita Falls woman

The holidays aren’t all bad, however. The NCIB also reports that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day rank at the bottom of their holiday theft list. But, with theft increasing each year, installing Elo GPS on your newly purchased vehicle can give you extra peace of mind over the holiday season as you celebrate.   

Get in touch with your nearest dealer to learn more about the benefits of Elo GPS and how it can protect your vehicle in the new year ahead.