SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The holiday season is here which means many people are driving around looking for the perfect gift. Unfortunately, there’s a grinch looking to steal that gift from your vehicle.
“As you’re out shopping, don’t go out to your car and load your car with packages,” advised Sgt. Melody Gray, Unified Police Department. “Lock them up in your vehicle, put them in your trunk and just be aware. Be aware of your surroundings.”
The National Crime Information Center released its ForeCAST Report which analyzes vehicle theft data in relation to the 2018 holidays.
A total of 802,605 vehicle thefts were reported to NCIC in 2018, averaging approximately 2,199 vehicle thefts reported per day.
An analysis of 2018 NCIC thefts determined that New Year’s Day was the holiday with the highest number of thefts, with 2,571 vehicles reported stolen. New Year’s Day, along with President’s Day, Labor Day, and Halloween all had a higher number of thefts reported than the overall daily average for 2018. Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve accounted for the holidays with the lowest number of reported vehicle thefts with 1,447, 1,698, and 1,912 thefts, respectively.
Sgt. Gray says preventative measures start with the obvious; not leaving your vehicle running or unlocked.
“Turn it off, take the keys out of the ignition and take them with you.”
Gray also recommends parking in highly populated and well-lit areas.
“These are the things that we can do that are simple measures that are deterrents to vehicle thefts.”
Here is the list of Utah’s top 10 most stolen vehicles, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau:
If your vehicle is on the list, Sgt. Gray recommends taking extra preventative measures.
“You can get steering device locks. Those kinds of things that are obvious that makes it really difficult for them to take.”
Overall, Gray says auto thefts are on the decline.
“One of the reasons for that is some of the stuff that’s being put in our vehicles now that make it more difficult; tracking devices, it’s much more difficult to pick a lock than it used to be — it used to be really simple to pop a vehicle lock open. There’s also cars now that are equipped that if you don’t have the key in the car it won’t start,” she explained.
WHAT OTHERS ARE READING:
- Medical call leads to shots fired and SWAT standoff in West Haven overnight
- Mandatory evacuations no longer in effect due to wildfire burning above Olympus Cove on SLC’s East bench
- Firefighters battling 2-alarm structure fire in South Salt Lake
- 2 firefighters help deliver baby boy in California parking lot
- Firefighters battle 2 wildfires in Tooele County