In central Pennsylvania along with the entire United States, there has been an increase in vehicle thefts. We know of a few thefts that have occurred in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania. Enough vehicle thefts have occurred that Pottsville police are warning people to monitor their cars as they warm up and to not leave them unlocked.
In our very office at Strickler Insurance, Pam Stellar who you regularly speak to on the phone when you call us had her vehicle stolen. What is most shocking is she lives in a nice quiet neighborhood where you would not expect it. Due to our personal experience with vehicle theft and knowing the panic that comes in that situation we thought we should help inform you on what you should do to prevent vehicle theft, and what to do if your vehicle is stolen.
Why Has There Been An Increase In Vehicle Thefts?
There are a few reasons the crime rate increases. For theft there are two obvious culprits; First, there is an increased amount of poverty. Second, the items being stolen have increased in value. Vehicles have been stolen more because their value has increased drastically.
Stealing a vehicle four years ago was not worth it to many criminals, but as wallets grow thin, grocery prices increase and wages remain the same people are more and more tempted. As the winter temperature drop in Pennsylvania, it also makes it more tempting to steal a vehicle when you see one warming up with the keys in it on the side of the road in Lebanon PA.
What To Do If Your Vehicle Is Stolen
When your vehicle is stolen, the first and most important thing to do is not to panic. Breathe, your day is going to be thrown off and there is nothing you can do about it. Follow the steps below when your vehicle is stolen.
1. Call The Police And Report Your Vehicle As Stolen
You should immediately call the police and report your vehicle as stolen. The sooner they know, the faster they can have boots on the ground looking for your vehicle. To make the call go smoothly you should have this information prepared for the police.
- The last place and time you saw your vehicle.
- Vehicle make and model.
- Year your vehicle was made.
- The color of your stolen vehicle.
- Do you have any bumper stickers or aspects that stand out?
- Your vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Your license plate.
- Any additional information regarding your vehicle and when it was stolen. Were the keys stolen? Was it unlocked? Does anyone else have a spare set of keys?
2. Call Into Work & Let Them Know You Might Not Make It
You were probably going somewhere when you noticed the vehicle was stolen. Let the people know that you will not be making it due to your vehicle being stolen. Let your workplace know that you will try to get a rental vehicle through your insurance company and be there as soon as possible.
3. Contact Your Car Insurance Company
Let your car insurance company know as soon as possible that your vehicle was stolen. They will be able to advise you on the next steps and what you are covered for in this situation. Consider contacting your insurance company and asking them what your policy covers in the case of vehicle theft and adjust your policy accordingly. An even better idea is to contact Strickler Insurance for a free quote on your auto insurance.
4. Get A Rental Vehicle
Most car insurance coverage covers a vehicle rental in the situation where your car or truck is stolen. Many car rental companies provide delivery to your location as well. Just know it may be difficult to get a rental presently because there are a lot of vehicle rentals occurring as car accidents increase and more vehicles are being rented at the moment.
5. Share Information On Your Vehicle Being Stolen On Social Media
While you wait for your rental vehicle to arrive, consider posting your vehicle as stolen on social media. The power of social media has advanced astronomically. Post on your Facebook or Instagram that your vehicle was stolen. Let your friends know the key information about your vehicle, and make your post shareable. Also, consider posting to local community groups to reach a wider local audience. If anything this will make it more difficult for the thieves to sell your car on Facebook marketplace.
6. You May Not Get Your Vehicle Back
It is important that you know you may not get your vehicle back, and if you do it might not be in the same shape as it was before it was stolen. Be on the lookout for vehicles for sale so you can get back on the road.
7. What To Do If You Get Your Vehicle Back
Go over your vehicle thoroughly. Check the inside and outside of your vehicle. Make sure nothing is missing or damaged. Report anything amiss to the police.
How To Prevent Vehicle Theft
Certain vehicles are easier to steal than others. If you have an older vehicle without an alarm it is less likely it will be stolen, but there is still a high chance. In general, there are a few simple ways to prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
- Lock your car doors.
- Park your vehicle in sight of a camera or close to your home. Parking in a garage is a sure way to prevent your vehicle from being stolen easily.
- When your vehicle is warming up, sit in it or lock the doors and unlock them with a spare key.
- Put the parking brake on. When someone is trying to steal your vehicle they are rushing and not thinking that the parking brake is on. While this will not stop them it can make a loud noise to alert you and will stall their getaway.
- For the most dedicated and protective people, you can always unhook your battery and take it inside. This isn’t exactly logical but it will keep your vehicle from being stolen.
Contact Strickler Insurance For Car Insurance
Contact us for car insurance coverage that will protect you in the case of your vehicle being stolen. Get a free quote from Strickler Insurance in central Pennsylvania.