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Tampa Bay has the third highest number of car thefts in Florida

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay has one of the highest number of car thefts in the state, according to a new study from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

While South Florida has taken the top spot with the most car thefts in Florida for the third year in a row, Tampa Bay saw 5,429 car thefts in 2018.

In 2017 the Tampa Bay area actually had a higher number of car thefts, at 5,867 and even high at 6,114 in 2016.

Nationally though, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area ranked relatively low at No. 213 out of 383 metro areas for the most thefts.

The area with the least car thefts in the nation was again in Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii with no car thefts last year.

The area with the least car thefts in the nation was again in Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii with no car thefts last year.

NICB recommends that drivers follow the four “layers of protection” to protect themselves against car thefts.

Common Sense — The easiest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. You should always:

  • Remove your keys from the ignition
  • Lock your doors /close your windows              
  • Park in a well-lit area

 
Warning Device — The second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:

  • Audible alarms
  • Steering column collars
  • Steering wheel/brake pedal lock
  • Brake locks
  • Wheel locks
  • Theft deterrent decals
  • Identification markers in or on vehicle
  • VIN etching
  • Micro dot marking

 
Immobilizing Devices — The third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-offs
  • Kill switches
  • Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers
  • Wireless ignition authentication

Tracking Devices — The final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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