The New York State DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) announced that vehicle thefts rose 54 percent from 2019 to 2020, with numbers still on the rise in 2021.
“Leaving your key fob in the vehicle or leaving it running while you run into your home or the store are two of the most common factors in vehicle thefts,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Don’t make your car an easy target. I urge you to be cautious and always make sure your vehicle is locked and not left running, even for a minute, and never leave your vehicle title or valuables in the car.”
According to the DMV, the highest rates of vehicle theft are during the summer season, and July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. The department also warned that in addition to vehicles, auto parts are also being stolen.
To lower the risk of vehicle theft, the DMV advises that drivers not leave vehicle titles in the car, to keep vehicles locked, never leave keys in the car when it’s parked, never leave your car unattended while it’s running, and avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle where they can be seen.
To learn about how to report a stolen vehicle, consumers can visit the DMV website. Information about stolen plates is also available online.
The DMV also advises that before purchasing a vehicle, buyers visit the National Insurance Crime Bureau page and enter the VIN (vehicle identification number).