Halloween Is Perfect for Trick or Treating and Car Theft

Halloween, that special day of the year when you can be anyone or anything you want, provided you plan ahead and got your costume ready.
Halloween is the third holiday with the highest spike in number of stolen cars 6 photos
Halloween is the third holiday with a spike in the number of stolen vehiclesCar owners can actively deter thieves from stealing their carCar owners can actively deter thieves from stealing their carCar owners can actively deter thieves from stealing their carThis Halloween, think of more than just car decorations: think theft deterring action
Halloween is that holiday that sees both adults and kids take to the streets to party or go trick or treating, respectively. The most fun occasion to be as extra as you want, without fearing someone might judge you for it or give you the side-eye.

Also, one of the best occasions for thieves to take your car.

According to figures collected on the 2018 Halloween and disclosed by the non-profit National Insurance Crime Bureau, Halloween is the third holiday to record a spike in the number of stolen cars. Surely, given the furor that accompanies all Halloween celebrations, you can imagine why thieves would target – and be able to get away with – more cars on this particular day. They would never miss a good opportunity, and the general merriment that goes with a huge holiday is just the distraction they need.

For 2018, the average number of vehicle theft in the U.S. was 2,199 on a single day. That number spikes to 2,571 on New Year’s Eve, 2,380 on Presidents’ Day and 2,275 on Halloween. The only other holiday to top the national average is Labor Day, with 2,235 incidents for the past year.

Car owners can actively deter thieves from stealing their car
Unsurprisingly, given its dense population and the number of cars in use, California is the number one state when it comes to the number of stolen vehicles on Halloween: 4,797 for the year 2018. It was followed, in descending order, by Texas, Florida, Washington and Georgia.

Car thieves will always take advantage of a car owner’s inattention or carelessness, and this applies doubly on Halloween, when there are plenty of other distractions, either to keep you occupied or to allow them time to steal a vehicle unobserved and unperturbed. Of course, preventing the car theft is possible and, of course, it’s the owner who has to show more responsibility. The NICB recommends following its “four layers of protection” formula, which includes the unsurprising recommendation of using your common sense at the top of the list: the cheapest, effective way of keeping thieves at bay.

An overwhelming number of car thefts (some reports suggest as high a percentage as 85%) occur because the owner did not lock or otherwise secure the vehicle. Common sense dictates that, on this holiday and on any other day, you park in a well-lit area, and you never leave your car unlocked or the keys in the ignition, even if you only think you’re going to be gone for a dozen seconds or so. That’s a couple of seconds more than the time thieves need to steal it.

The second layer of protection would be a visible or audible device to alert the thieves that the car is protected and they would be better off looking someplace else. You have a wide variety of them to choose from, from decals or identification markers and VIN etching, to audible alarms and steering column collars, or locks for the brakes or the steering wheel.

Car owners can actively deter thieves from stealing their car
The third layer of protection is represented by an immobilizing device, which can be factory included or added at a later time. They prevent thieves from bypassing the ignition or hot-wiring the car, and include anything from smart keys to kill switches, wireless ignition authentication, and starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers.

The fourth and last layer of protection for your car is a tracking device. Show your love for your ride and invest in one, and it will emit a signal to the police or a monitoring station if it’s stolen, making recovery possible. That last part is essential: a large number of stolen cars are never recovered.

That said, remember: some thieves may act on impulse, taking advantage of an opportunity. Many of them count on you being too trusty or naive to think no one would take a car with the engine running or the doors unlocked. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to prevent this from happening to you: the first thing you can – and should – do is take the keys out of the ignition, roll up the windows and lock the doors.

Naivety is an adorable trait, but the world can be a scary place. And not just on Halloween.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Elena Gorgan
Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories