Sheriff Jay Koon

July is Vehicle Theft Prevention month; surprisingly, a large percentage of these types of thefts actually happen in the summer. Imagine you step outside to leave for work one morning and your car is gone, right from your driveway!

We see and respond to many motor vehicles stolen or broken into in Lexington County on a daily basis. Unfortunately, quite a few of these incidents happen because keys are left inside the car and the doors unlocked.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, one vehicle is stolen every 41 seconds in the U.S., and almost 41 percent of those vehicles are never recovered. This kind of theft is a multibillion-dollar crime in our country.

However, these crimes of opportunity are largely avoidable with a few simple steps:

  1. Take your keys with you.
  2. Put your spares in a safe place (not inside your car).
  3. Remove all valuables from your vehicle (especially guns, purses, computers, etc). Don’t leave them under the seat or in the glovebox.
  4. Close the windows and lock the doors (even when pumping gas or running into the store).
  5. Enable your security system if available.
  6. Park in well-lit areas.
  7. Do not leave the area while your car is running.
  8. If you see someone in your neighborhood pulling on door handles, call your local law enforcement agency.

Can you guess which top three vehicles made the most-stolen list? Honda Civic, Honda Accord and the Chevrolet Silverado nationwide (NHTSA).

Spread the word–tell your friends, your family and your neighbors how they can avoid being a victim of this crime too.