Automakers have gone to great lengths in recent years to make it more difficult to steal a car. Some owners, however, are going to great lengths to make it easy again.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, at least $750 million worth of vehicles were stolen between 2012 and 2014 because motorists left the keys inside. And NICB President Joe Wehrle says, “I’m sure the numbers are probably higher,” but owners aren’t likely to admit the fact when they file a police report or insurance claim.
California topped the list of states where the problem occurred during the three-year period. Texas was next on the list, followed by Florida, Michigan and Ohio.
If you leave out the cars stolen because of owners leaving the keys inside, the NICB says overall vehicle thefts would have dropped to a nearly 50-year low in 2014.