LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – In the United States a vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds.
That’s a dramatic number and it’s even more surprising because, according to the Michigan State Police, in nearly half of the thefts the keys were left in the ignition or the doors were left unlocked.
As part of the effort to crack down on vehicle thefts the Michigan State Police remind drivers to lock up and take the keys when leaving a vehicle.
It sounds so easy but, as statistics show, many drivers either forget or just don’t take the most basic steps to safeguard their vehicle.
There are some other ways to deter thieves from stealing your ride:
- Closing windows when your vehicle is parked
- Avoiding leaving valuables in your vehicle, especially where they can be seen
- Not leaving your vehicle running unattended
- Parking in well-lit areas
- Keeping your vehicle in your garage, if possible
- Keeping exterior house lights on at night
- Installing a car alarm or using a steering wheel lock or gear shift column lock
Right now wheel and tire thefts are being seen. If you see someone who seems to be checking out a vehicle in a suspicious manner you should report what you’ve seen to police officers.
Vehicle sale scams and fraudulent vehicle titles are also showing up. The MSP recommend that if you are buying or selling a vehicle to do it at a Secretary of State office or your local police department. If a vehicle title looks suspicious either ask to have a Secretary of State employee look at it or postpone the sale.
In the past year teams funded by Michigan’s Automobile Theft Prevention Authority recovered 5,350 stolen vehicles and parts worth approximately $41 million.
The ATPA awards grants to law enforcement agencies, prosecutor’s offices and non-profit groups to investigate and reduce vehicle thefts in Michigan.
In the past ten years groups that have received grants from the ATPA have helped cut vehicle thefts by 57 percent in Michigan.