July, August Top Month for Car Thefts – E3 Spark Plugs Offers Eight Great Tips for Rebounding
July and August are top months for taking the fam on a summer vacation, lounging at the beach and getting your car jacked. That’s right – According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau more cars are stolen in July and August than any other month of the year.
Common sense moves can help protect your car from thieves in the first place – Park in a well-lit area, hide your valuables, keep your spare key with you, avoid leaving your car running and immobilize it if it will be parked for an extended period of time. But what happens when your car does disappear? E3 Spark Plugs offers a few tips:
- Make sure your car really is gone. Multi-level parking garages and large mall parking lots tend to cause parking amnesia in hurried or wearied drivers. Are you SURE you parked outside Sears – Or was it JC Penney?
- Consider whether your ride might have been towed. Accidentally parking in a loading zone, a reserved spot or too near a fire hydrant might have gotten your vehicle towed. If it looks like that might be the case, check with the police impound lot before you freak out.
- Call police. Once you’ve confirmed that your car really has been stolen, call the cops immediately. The sooner they start looking for it, the higher your chances for getting it back and getting a crook off the streets.
- Call your LoJack or OnStar service if you’ve got one. Depending upon your package features, these services can track your car’s location, or even shut down the engine and lock the crook inside. He’ll have some ‘splainin’ to do when the cops show up.
- Look for witnesses. If your car was parked in a spot visible to store workers, hot dog vendors, etc., ask if anyone remembers seeing your car pull away or any suspicious activity. If there’s a surveillance camera nearby, contact the property owner or manager to see if anything was caught on video. Thieves often will give away their nervousness by lingering a little too long or looking over their shoulders excessively.
- Call your insurance company. Insurance paperwork takes a notoriously long amount of time. If your car can’t be recovered, you’ll want to get started on the insurance claims process quickly. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the sooner you’ll be back on the road. Plus, your policy may allow for a rental vehicle while the police investigation and claims process take their course.
- Look for your car online. Check eBay, Craigslist or other regional car sales websites regularly. Of course, if you’ve got a common car in a common color, this may prove relatively useless. And the VIN number likely won’t help, as thieves tend to alter or remove them. But if your car is identifiable, say via custom seats and a dent in the rear quarter panel, you may luck up on a thief’s effort to make a quick buck at your expense.
- Go shopping. If there’s a silver lining in the horror of having your beloved car jacked by an unscrupulous stranger, it’s the fact that you’ll soon be rolling in a brand new ride. Take your time, choose wisely and perhaps invest in a few anti-theft features to help ensure you won’t have to go through it all again.
Were you able to recover your stolen ride? Post your own tips on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.