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AUTO THEF T SUMMER 2021 | 25 SOMEONE TOOK SOMETHING OF MINE THAT WE WORKED HARD FOR. IT WASN'T THEIRS. IT FELT VIOLATING. PROTECT YOUR RIDE You can speak with a licensed CAA Insurance Agent to review your policy, even if it's with another carrier, and learn how you could lower your rates. Visit insurance for more details. Go to for more ways to prevent auto theft director of consumer and industry relations at IBC. Those factors include the details of your insurance policy and the make, model and features of the stolen vehicle. It will also be assessed on the book and market value, which looks at comparable vehicles on the used market in your geographic location. If there were valuables in your car, they would likely be covered under your home insurance policy. Ultimately, the contributes to making auto insurance more expensive for everybody, Gast says. "The more everyone takes the necessary precautions to avoid the, the more we all benefit from it," says Ellio Silverstein, CAA's director of government relations (insurance). "It's a shared responsibility." For Hunter and his family, the thes meant sadness, anger, wasted time and money—they had to pay $1,000 out of pocket to replace sports equipment le in the first stolen vehicle. It also meant they had to choose a different model next. The Toyota Highlander was his wife's dream car, Hunter says, but the insurance company told them that particular vehicle was now high-risk, so rates for it were going up. They weren't about to buy a third one. HOW TO PREVENT THEFT To avoid the, Silverstein encourages drivers to keep keys and fobs out of reach, store spare keys somewhere other than the car, park in a garage when possible and remove any valuables from the vehicle. He adds that much of CAA Insurance's efforts have been to ensure drivers make the right choices to protect their cars. Knowing which vehicles are prime targets for thieves is also helpful. IBC regularly publishes lists of the most-stolen vehicles; the top 10 include various models of the Honda CR-V, Lexus RX 350 and the Toyota Highlander. There are also ways to make your car less of a target. Since thieves are going high-tech, Haywood recommends going old-school. Use a steering wheel lock like The Club and park in well-lit areas. If you have two cars, park the more expensive or newer vehicle in front of the less valuable one in your driveway, so it's blocked in. If your car has a wireless fob, store it in a Faraday box or bag that blocks the signal. (The CAA Store carries the Pacsafe Silent Pocket Faraday car key guard, which you can buy online at IBC also recommends installing a tracking device and an immobilizer in your car to prevent thieves from hot-wiring it. Don't leave personal information or valuables in the car, and, of course, lock the doors and windows and don't leave your vehicle unaended while it's running. The police did eventually find both of Hunter's stolen Highlanders, but the good news ended there. One vehicle was found abandoned and damaged; the other was found chopped up in a Halifax port shipping container destined for Ghana. "I was super angry," Hunter says. "Someone took something of mine that we worked hard for. It wasn't theirs. It felt violating." Hunter is determined not to let thieves get him a third time. He researched his family's current vehicle, looking at cars that were the most difficult to steal—such as the 2019 Land Rover Discovery and the 2020 BMW X3—and bought a model within the top three. He's also purchased Faraday boxes for their key fobs and upgraded the security cameras around the perimeter of his home. He says they've taken every precaution they can, and that now they just have to hope for the best and move on with their lives.

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