Vehicle thefts among Allstate insured Texans dropped 2.5 percent last year, the company announced, but the cars being snapped off the street are heading farther south of the border — even overseas. The insurer and police are urging drivers to tag and track their vehicles.
“More stolen vehicles are going as far as Guatemala and Honduras, even overseas, making them tougher to recover,” said Sgt. Trinidad Salazar, with the Houston Police Department. “Stolen trucks and SUVs sent across the border are typically being used for human and drug smuggling. Stolen vehicles sent overseas are used for multiple reasons, including terrorism. That’s why it’s important for the public to know how complex theft has become to drive home the seriousness of the issue.”
Auto Theft Breakdown by City: Allstate’s numbers include partial, recovered and unrecovered vehicle thefts. Partial thefts involve parts stolen from a vehicle, recovered thefts are stolen vehicles that are found and unrecovered thefts are stolen vehicles that are never found. While Allstate’s statewide auto theft number dropped overall in 2009, some major Texas cities saw increases.
|City||% Change from 2008 to 2009|
|Rio Grande Valley||+6.2%|
Top Texas Vehicles Stolen: Trucks dominated the list of stolen Allstate insured vehicles in Texas last year:
|1||Dodge Ram Pickup (2004)|
|2||Ford F150 (1997)|
|3||Honda Civic (2000)|
|4||Honda Accord (1994)|
|5||Chevrolet Extended Cab 4X2 Pickup (1997)|
|6||Ford F250 Pickup (2004)|
|7||Chevrolet Conventional Cab 4×2 Pickup (1988)|
|8||Ford F350 Pickup (2006)|
|9||Ford Taurus (1997)|
|10||Ford Explorer (2002)|
Auto theft specialists at Allstate recommend five tips to throw off thieves.
- Park Smart: Park in a populated, well-lit area. Auto thieves do not like witnesses and prefer unattended parking lots.
- Hide Your Things: Don’t make your car a more desirable target for thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight. Put them in the trunk or take them with you.
- Lock-Up: Almost half of all vehicles stolen were left unlocked and one out of every five vehicles stolen had the keys in it. Roll up windows, lock-up doors and take your keys.
- Make Your Mark: VIN etching—a permanent engraving of a vehicle’s federally registered vehicle identification number (VIN) on its windshield—makes it tougher for a thief to resell or take your vehicle across the border without replacing the marked glass.
- Keep Track: High-tech tracking devices can alert you—and law enforcement—the moment an unauthorized user moves your vehicle.
Source: The Allstate Corporation
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