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Car Theft Season Shifts Into High Gear On July 4

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Earlier today, we told you that July 4 is an especially deadly day for teen drivers. Well, we hope you're sitting down, because July 4 is also the start of the busy season for America's car thieves.

The news comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has found that July and August are the most popular months for auto theft. And so, LoJack Corporation and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators have launched a nationwide education effort called National Vehicle Theft Protection Month.

Like most education projects, this one involves reminding the public about the prevalence of car theft and showing drivers how to avoid becoming victims. And in today's graphically oriented world, nothing says "education" quite like an infographic. This one put together by LoJack has some interesting facts to share, such as:

  • A vehicle is stolen about once every 43 seconds.
  • Only about 56% of stolen vehicles are ever recovered.
  • The average loss for owners is $6,159.
  • Car theft costs Americans a total of $4.5 billion each year, but less than half of all shoppers -- 49% to be exact -- are very concerned about it. 
  • The most popular vehicles for thieves are -- in order -- the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Toyota Camry, with Chevrolet and Ford pickups close behind.
  • Drivers on the West Coast are more likely than other Americans to be the victims of car theft (but then, you already knew that).  

Our take

We're always a little wary about awareness campaigns put together by companies that stand to benefit from those efforts. Case in point: it makes perfect sense that LoJack would participate in National Vehicle Theft Protection month, since the education campaign likely to drive sales of the company's aftermarket vehicle tracking systems.

That said, we'd never argue that auto theft is a good thing, and we do our best to remind readers about ways to keep themselves and their cars safe. What's more, LoJack has some good advice for car owners that shouldn't be overlooked -- like never programming your home address into your car's GPS system. (Or at least not labeling it as "home".)

For those and other pointers, check out this handful of helpful videos, and be sure to reacquaint yourself with these six tips for confounding car thieves. If you've got others, drop us a note, or leave a comment below.

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