Keep Track of Your Auto Key Fob

Roughly $6 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in 2018, and the average dollar loss per theft was $8,407, according to the Insurance Information Institute, and data from the FBI.

Motor vehicle thefts have trended downwards since 1991, falling about 55 percent from 1.7 million thefts in 1991 to 773,139 in 2017. In 2018, motor vehicles were stolen at a rate of 228.9 per 100,000 people, totaling 748,841 vehicles, a 3.1 percent decrease from 2017.

Despite this nearly 20-year trend of reduction in vehicle thefts, researchers warn that thieves are constantly finding new and more sophisticated means of stealing autos. Tactics include acquiring smart keys, which eliminated hot-wiring to steal cars, switching vehicle identification numbers, and using stolen identities to secure loans for expensive vehicles.

Creating a new cause for concern, National Insurance Crime Bureau data shows there were 229,339 vehicle thefts with keys or fobs left in the vehicles between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018 – a 56 percent increase from the 147,434 vehicles stolen in this manner between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015.

Don’t give thieves an opportunity to steal your vehicle. Remember to lock your vehicle and take your keys or fob with you.