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8/13/2012 - Half of vehicle thefts involve unlocked vehicles

Many consumers leave their keys in the car, increasing the risk of theft.

With automotive theft being a major issue for law enforcement in the state of Texas and throughout the country, the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority has released some auto crime facts that may surprise some motorists.

During the summer, drivers will often make a stop at a convenience store without turning off their ignition. They may think that being away from their car for a brief moment may not present an issue, but in reality, vehicles can be stolen in as little as 15 seconds, the APTPA points out.

Another reason not to leave a running car unattended is that auto criminals often work in pairs. One person may be tasked with standing guard to see if someone leaves their car with the keys still inside. They then inform a team member close by to perform the car heist.

Charles Caldwell, director of the ABTPA, noted that it may come as a surprise to some people, but approximately 50% of stolen vehicles are unlocked, with the keys often still in the ignition.

Some of the best ways to avoid filing an auto insurance claim related to vehicle theft include always locking the doors, hiding valuables and parking in a well-lit area, the APTPA advises.

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