Over the past two years, vehicle theft has risen dramatically. This is particularly true in major cities. In Chicago, carjackings rose by 134% in 2020. This year, the city’s seen an additional 44% increase. Washington D.C. and New York have also seen a significant rise in carjackings.
In 2020, 810,400 vehicles were stolen across the U.S. This is the largest number of vehicle thefts we’ve seen since 2008. Thieves are also targeting cargo and parts, such as catalytic converters, at higher rates.
Protecting your fleet from these threats is essential, especially as we head into the often crime-heavy holiday season. Below, you can find tips to prevent vehicle theft and protect your drivers.
How to prevent fleet vehicle theft
1. Keep your vehicles secure
Leaving your vehicles unlocked is a great way to attract trouble. Thieves may also target vehicles with items, such as keys, electronic devices, packages, or other valuables, that are visible from the outside. Remind drivers to keep windows shut tightly when they are parked or sitting for any period of time. They should always take the keys with them and hide valuables under seats or in the glove box.
2. Think about your surroundings
Parking in well-lit, well-populated areas whenever possible can discourage thieves from targeting your vehicles. If drivers can find security cameras to park near, your chances of theft fall further. Train your drivers to stay aware of their surroundings at all times so they can quickly spot trouble. They should never leave the vehicle unattended while it’s running, even in a good area. With these extra precautions, you will make it harder for thieves to access your vehicles.
3. Use security systems
First, all of your vehicles should be equipped with a working security system. An alarm will likely scare thieves away, along with alerting you of the incident. If you keep your vehicles on-site, you should invest in security cameras and an alarm system for the premises. Parking in a garage and out of sight is also a good idea.
4. Install a GPS tracker
If your vehicle is stolen, the quicker you can recover it, the better. Installing GPS tracking systems into your vehicles gives you instant access to their current locations. You can immediately forward this information to law enforcement, empowering quick action. The less time thieves have with your vehicle, the less time they have to damage it.
Get a GPS installs quote today to start protecting your vehicles and enjoying the benefits of telematics-powered fleet management.