Ohio State Highway Patrol Alerts Drivers During Vehicle Theft Prevention Month

CLEVELAND — Auto thefts across the United States and right here in northeast Ohio have reached epic proportions.

From the city to the suburbs to corporate parking lots, scammers are cashing in big.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is speaking out and sharing the best ways to protect yourself and your property during Auto Theft Prevention Month of July.

“The most effective anti-theft system is ourselves and the decisions we make – and how we secure our vehicles,” said Sergeant Ray Santiago of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Public Affairs Unit.

It’s simple, solid advice straight from the Ohio State Highway Patrol when it comes to protecting your vehicle.

On average, a vehicle is stolen every 39 seconds in the United States

Across the country, scammers stole more than 800,000 cars in 2019.

And when the pandemic hit, desperation reached an all-time high due to financial and economic uncertainty.

Officials say the schemes have escalated with key cloning and other elaborate technological means.

Often these cars are sent for parts. And, you know, they go to another, you know, criminal enterprise,” Santiago said.

Ohio State Highway Patrol confirms recovering 155 stolen cars in northeast Ohio this year. The latest trend is for scammers to target high-end and extremely expensive cars.

Statewide – Highway Patrol reported a 26% jump in the dollar value of cars, especially expensive brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Tesla being taken off the streets.

In northeast Ohio, soldiers recovered nearly $1.3 million worth of stolen vehicles, an 80% increase over last year.

“If you don’t lock it, you could lose it. And that’s the easiest advice we can give you.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol recommends doing the following to best protect your car and just use common sense:

  1. Take your vehicle key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.
  2. Close and lock all windows and doors when parking.
  3. Park in well-lit areas if possible.
  4. Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they are visible from outside the vehicle.

Santiago reports on average, 56% of stolen cars are recovered.

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