The NICB noted that these thefts may be even higher because many drivers don’t admit to making the mistake, and it’s not reported in the police report or insurance claim.
“Thankfully Ohio’s police and State Highway Patrol do a great job of recovering stolen vehicles,” Ohio Insurance Institute Dean Fadel said in a prepared statement. “Ohio was not one of the top 10 states noted in the NICB report that have the highest rate of unrecovered vehicle thefts when keys are left in the vehicle.”
The report says drivers allowing their vehicles to warm up in the fall and winter may play a part in explaining why so many cars are stolen with keys in them. The most thefts happened in December with 22,155. It was followed by January (21,384), November (20,080), October (19,918) and July (19,811).
The most popular date for having a vehicle stolen with keys inside is Jan. 1, with 321 thefts. Jan. 3, Jan. 5, Dec. 27 and Jan. 2 round out the top five, in that order.
Meanwhile, the most popular day of the week for thefts was Monday with 34,948. Friday was second with 33,582.
The NICB offered the following tips to decrease the likelihood of your vehicle being stolen:
• Lock the vehicle, set the alarm and take all keys or fobs.
• Do not leave the garage door opener in the vehicle.
• Take a picture of your registration on your cellphone and do not leave the registration or other papers with personal information in the vehicle.
• Never leave a car unlocked and running to warm it up or while stopping for a quick errand.
To read the full report, go to: www.nicb.org/media/701/download.