ALBANY (WENY) – The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is warning drivers about a rise of car thefts across the state.
Statewide, vehicle thefts rose 54% from 2019 to 2020.
“Leaving your key fob in the vehicle or leaving it running while you run into your home or the store are two of the most common factors in vehicle thefts,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Don’t make your car an easy target. I urge you to be cautious and always make sure your vehicle is locked and not left running, even for a minute, and never leave your vehicle title or valuables in the car.”
According to the DMV, vehicle theft rates are highest in the summer season. To reduce the risk of your car getting stolen:
- Do not leave your vehicle title in the car
- Keep your vehicle locked
- When parked, never leave your keys in the car
- Never leave your car running and unattended
- Avoid leaving valuables inside your vehicle where passersby can see them
Before you buy a used car, you can check whether it is stolen by going to the National Insurance Crime Bureau page and entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Car owners should also take steps to avoid an insurance lapse on a stolen car. You can learn more about that on the state’s “Insurance Lapses on Stolen Vehicles”.