A viral social trend is causing dramatic spikes in car theft
Cities across the U.S. are suddenly seeing a dramatic uptick in auto theft, and many believe this hike is linked to a viral social craze.
In the video, a person demonstrates how to start a car without a key by using a screwdriver and USB phone charge to hot-wire the vehicle, using some particularly vulnerable car models as examples.
Certain cars like Kia and Hyundai models that were made before November 2021 are particularly at risk, and now these automakers plan to roll out security kits starting in the fall. Major cities like Chicago have seen a drastic increase in Kia and Hyundai car thefts since 2021 and a dramatic spike since July.
7 tips to prevent auto theft
As these companies navigate how to protect their customers from this security loophole, learn how you can safeguard your vehicle in the meantime.
1. Park in well-lit areas
Be aware of your surroundings. It’s critical to park in well-lit, public areas where car thieves do not want to be seen. If you can, park in an area near a security camera.
2. Take your key fob with you
For cars that have a push-button start instead of a traditional key, make sure you take the key fob with you wherever you go instead of leaving it in the car.
3. Install an immobilizer system
An engine immobilizer is a type of anti-theft technology that uses a computer chip to help an engine recognize a corresponding key. Installing one will block thieves from hot-wiring your car.
4. Install an audible alarm
If your car doesn’t come with one, the NHTSA recommends you install an audible alarm system that can emit a loud noise if someone attempts to break into your vehicle.
5. Install a tracking system
A tracking system, or a vehicle recovery system, uses wireless and/or GPS technology to create a signal with your vehicle’s location and send to police. If your car does get stolen, this can help police catch the thief much quicker.
6. Avoid leaving valuables in your car
Never leave visible items that would attract a thief, such as a purse or cell phone. If you must leave anything of value in the car at all, make sure it’s out of sight – either stashed hidden in the trunk, console storage, or under your car seat.
7. Always lock your doors
Even if you feel like you’re in a safe area and just need to leave your car for a second, it’s always best to lock it anyway to be safe.
Contact your lawyer to learn more about auto safety
Auto theft is on the rise, and it’s vital you know how to prevent it and also what your rights are if your vehicle gets stolen. Get a consultation with your LegalShield lawyer to learn more.
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