Vehicle thefts on the rise in Kansas, AAA urges drivers to lock doors

Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 7:18 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - According to the latest statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, over 9000 Kansans reported their vehicle stolen in 2020, a 15% increase from 2019.

The top five vehicles stolen in Kansas include three pick up trucks and two models from Honda.

According to AAA, the average claim nationwide for stolen vehicles in 2020 was nearly $7,500 per vehicle.

With the recent increase in vehicle thefts, AAA Kansas is encouraging vehicle owners to do a few simple things that could save some time, money, and a few headaches.

“Car theft is a crime of opportunity,” said Shawn Steward, with AAA Kansas. “The more difficult for car thieves we make it the better, so leaving your keys in the car, leaving your car unlocked, leaving the car running unattended are easy targets they make it a lot easier for thieves.”

Although the cold weather may make it tempting to warm up your car before work, but Sean Steward says it’s not a great idea.

He also recommend keeping your car in a sheltered, well lit area and putting tempting items in your vehicle out of sight.

“A lot of thieves are looking for items in your car, whether that’s a stereo, a phone, a gun, or merchandise you may be keeping in your vehicle from the store, always keep your car locked,” said Steward. “Don’t keep keys in your vehicle, that gives these an extra target to look inside and see what they can take.”

The top stolen vehicles in Kansas are as follows:

  • Ford pickup - full size
  • Chevrolet pickup - full size
  • Dodge pickup - full size
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • GMC pickup - full size
  • Toyota Camry
  • Nissan Altima
  • Ford Fusion
  • Chevrolet Impala

AAA said to use the following tips to protect against car theft:

  • Never leave a vehicle running with keys in it.
  • Never leave keys in the vehicle - the convenient ‘keyless’ feature is not only convenient for the car owner, but it is also convenient for the thief who can steal the car with the touch of a button.
  • Lock the car - even without the keys, thieves are more likely to steal a car if it is left unlocked.
  • Park the vehicle in a garage or well-lit area - at home, at the mall or on the road, always try to park in an area where suspicious activity would be noticeable to the public.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.

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