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As Heaviest Auto Theft Months Approach, Americans Ill-Prepared to Thwart Professional Car Thieves

With the highest auto theft months of July and August fast approaching, the results of a survey reveal that Americans need to do more to protect their vehicles from theft. While the majority of Americans exercise common sense measures, many have no theft protection or vehicle recovery products, which are essential to combat today's sophisticated car thieves.

When it comes to common sense tactics, the news is good. More than 75 percent say they always lock their car and close the windows completely, 70 percent say they hide their valuables from view, and 55 percent say they always park in a well-lit area.

The bad news is that fully 43 percent of Americans have no theft protection system in their vehicle, such as vehicle recovery systems, satellite tracking systems, alarms, kill switches, locks on the steering wheels, brakes or wheels, or theft prevention decals.

And, the ugliest data point of all reveals that slightly more than one third of drivers (34 percent) admit they sometimes leave their vehicle running unattended to warm it up, cool it down or do a quick errand, with 50 percent of 18-24 year olds exercising this risky habit-thus making their cars an easy target for thieves.

What's behind these trends in consumer behavior? It just may be a common misconception of who is behind vehicle theft and what it really takes to protect a vehicle today. More than 50 percent of respondents correctly identify organized crime or auto theft rings as the force behind most vehicle thefts; however, 39 percent think it is simply the teenager out for a joyride.

Many people think auto theft is the result of a teenager looking to take a quick spin explains the lack of theft protection people have in their vehicles today. Car theft is big business and the thieves running chop shops and auto theft rings are incredibly sophisticated professionals. That is precisely why people need to apply more than just common sense to protect their vehicle - they need not only products that attempt to deter thieves, but also systems that guarantee recovery if their vehicle is stolen. This is particularly true as the summer months approach, when vehicle theft rates typically climb.

Courtesy LoJack Corporation