Protect your bike from theft

Survey says consumers don’t do enough to prevent theft

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 02, 2008
LoJack Corporation and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) have designated July National Vehicle Theft Protection Month.

Stolen vehicle recovery system maker LoJack and the NICB, a non-profit organization that works with insurance and law enforcement agencies to fight vehicle theft, are teaming up for their second annual vehicle theft protection education initiative. Their goal is to educate consumers on how to protect their cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles from theft. LoJack says that July is a leading month for vehicle theft.

“When vehicle owners are armed with the knowledge of how to protect their vehicles and the valuables inside, they make it much more difficult for professional thieves – who are responsible for most vehicle theft­ – to steal their car or its contents,” says Robert Bryant, NICB president and chief executive officer. “That’s why we believe this education initiative is so important. We want consumers to understand that for professional thieves, vehicle theft is a high reward – and at times low risk – crime.  But, it’s the vehicle owners who pay the price.”

In a survey commissioned by LoJack and the NICB, 70% of law enforcement professionals say that the current economic downturn is a cause for a recent rise in stolen vehicle activity. The survey, conducted in May with 162 law enforcement professionals including police officers, district attorneys and members of the Department of Justice, also says that 59% of consumers do not take enough precautions to protect their vehicles.Las Vegas authorities recently broke up two chop shops and recovered three stolen 2006 Honda CBR600 motorcycles.

“As this survey points out, law enforcement considers today’s challenging economy an increasing problem in vehicle theft and that consumers need to learn to keep their vehicles safe from today’s professional thieves,” says Patrick Clancy, vice president of law enforcement for LoJack Corporation. “As vehicle theft heats up in July and August – with summer drive vacations on the calendars of millions of Americans – consumers need to be particularly vigilant about keeping their vehicles safe. That is why we are kicking off our education effort now.”

According to the survey, 76% of respondents say that stolen vehicles often wind up in chop shops where they are stripped down for parts and scrap metal. LoJack’s radio frequency technology recently helped law enforcement officials in Las Vegas locate a pair of chop shops and recover four motorcycles.

The NICB says that motorcycles have a lower recovery rate (25-30%) than other vehicles (60-65%) because stolen motorcycle parts are easier to alter and resell than car or truck parts. Criminals may also try to resell used motorcycles that were assembled from stolen parts.

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