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New Year’s Day Car Thefts: 5 Keys to Prevention

A staggering number of car owners ring in the New Year by reporting car thefts. Alas, New Year's Day is traditionally the number one holiday for car thefts. Unfortunately, this year will likely be no exception. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), New Year's Day topped the list with 2,228 reported vehicle thefts in 2012.

Here are five ways to help prevent your car from being stolen on New Year's Day:

  1. Leave your car at home. The best way to thwart car theft is to leave your wheels at home and take a taxi both ways. That way, you can indulge in some bubbly without risking a New Year's DUI and/or worrying about your car's safety. Win-win!
  2. Park in well-lit areas. If you must take your car and need to leave it somewhere, park it under a light, in a secure garage, or in a high traffic area. Even if you're not in a car theft hotspot, avoid parking near obstructions such as dumpsters, large vans or trucks, or anything else that could limit your visibility. The darker or more isolated the parking spot, the more attractive your car looks to thieves.
  3. Keep valuables out of plain view. During this time of the year, it's very common for criminals to spy on you while you're filling your car with holiday goodies, so be aware of your surroundings. Keep purchases and packages in the trunk, not in the back seat.
  4. Lock your doors. Make sure the car is locked and the windows are rolled up. You can also detach the battery cables before leaving the car overnight.
  5. Park in an attended lot. Finding a parking spot on New Year's is a nightmare as it is, so bite the financial bullet and opt for an (overpriced) attended lot. That being said, leave only the door/ignition key for valet parking. Never hide a second set of keys in your car.

If you think ol' Greased Lightning is safe and sound because she's past her prime, think again. Contrary to popular belief, older model cars are stolen the most.

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