Seven Tips to Safeguard Yourself against Auto Theft

Car thefts peak in July and August


Phoenix, July 5, 2012. Summer is the peak season for many things in Arizona, such as travel, temperatures and auto theft. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), July and August are historically the top months for this crime. To help motorists protect themselves against auto theft, AAA Insurance is offering seven tips to help prevent it.


According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona experienced a 19 percent decrease in auto thefts from 2009 to 2010. In addition, Phoenix dropped 16 spots from 2010 to number 60 on the NICB’s 2011 Hot Spots report, and Tucson dropped 15 spots to number 37. 


“Recent declines of auto theft in Arizona can be attributed to increased public awareness, as well as programs deployed by law enforcement and other agencies,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance for AAA Arizona. “However, motorists should not let down their guard, as this crime remains all too common in Arizona. Drivers must be vigilant about safeguarding their vehicles and personal property against theft.”


To help understand the severity of the issue, and illustrate our state’s improvements, the club pulled together the following Arizona Auto Theft Facts:

·     One car was stolen every 25 seconds in Arizona in 2010, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS)

·     In July and August of 2010, more than 3,400 vehicles were stolen across the state, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the total stolen vehicles for the year, according to DPS.


AAA Insurance would like to offer the following tips to help motorists prevent vehicle burglary and theft:

  1. Get your VIN etched. Having the VIN number of your vehicle etched in each piece of glass can be an effective theft deterrent as a thief would have to replace all the glass on the vehicle, cutting into profit margins. The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority hosts several free VIN etching events throughout the year.
  2. Always lock your vehicle with the windows closed.  Even if you park your vehicle in a garage, this simple measure is added security. 
  3. Never leave belongings out in the open in your car as they could tempt thieves.
  4. Never leave your keys in your vehicle or leave your vehicle running any time you are not in it.
  5. Keep your vehicle in secure, well-lit areas. When possible, park in a locked garage. Also, consider installing a motion-activated floodlight that illuminates the place where your car is parked.
  6. Use anti-theft or automatic tracking devices. If your vehicle wasn’t equipped with an alarm or hidden tracking device when purchased, have one installed.
  7. Remove spare keys from vehicle. Never hide a spare ignition key in or around your vehicle.

For more information on auto theft prevention, visit

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.