People who responsibly leave their cars at home in order to celebrate on New Year’s Eve should make sure their cars are good and locked. New Year’s Day is the worst day of the year for car theft.
Thieves take advantage of celebration
It is almost New Year’s Eve, an occasion to celebrate the passing of the previous year and the dawn of the new one. Many people also indulge in alcoholic beverages, which means a lot of people will get a ride from a friend, use public transportation or hail a taxi in order to get home.
That also means a large number of cars are left unattended during the night which is why, according to CBS, New Year’s Day is the worst day of the year for car thefts. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported in January that 2,347 occurred on New Year’s Day 2011.
The good news is that it was a drop over 2009. According to USA Today, thieves absconded with 2,760 cars on New Year’s Eve 2009/New Year’s Day 2010. The second worst holiday in 2009 was Halloween with 2,325 thefts. The safest holiday from car theft in 2009 was Christmas, with a scant 1,336.
Careful on the West Coast
People who live on the West Coast should be the most diligent, as that is where the greatest number of car thefts occur, according to Yahoo News. Of the top 20 cities with the highest rates of car theft in 2010, 12 are in California and Washington state, nine in California.
In the top 10 worst cities for car theft, the only cities not located in the Golden state are Spokane and Yakima, Wash., located at number four and 10 on the list, respectively. Fresno, Calif., is the worst of all, with a car theft rate of 812.4 per 100,000 people, according to ABC.
The cities with the worst rates of car theft not located on the West Coast are Las Vegas, Nev., Macon, Ga., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Laredo, Texas, Detroit, Mich., Jackson, Miss., and Albequerque, N.M.
Plenty that can be done
According to Forbes, an owner has about a 40 percent chance of getting their car back if it is stolen. A possible upside is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation found car theft declined in 2010 by 7.2 percent, according to MSN.
That said, there are steps that can be taken to protect one’s car, according to Yahoo. Since car thieves are usually in a hurry, putting a steering lock like “The Club” or tire lock will usually do the trick.
Many cars today come standard with a sensor that reads an RFID chip in the keyfob. If the key is not present, the vehicle will not start. The same technology can be installed in older cars, though it may cost a few hundred dollars to install the “kill switch” sensor.