So you decided to catch a cab home after a night at the bar? Avoid the chances of a DUI, or trashing your vehicle and ending up in jail? Good for you! The problem, however, is that there are people who would take advantage of your desire to stay safe, by stealing your car on New Year’s Day!
Statistics show that New Year’s Day ranks as one of the holidays with the most car thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Interestingly, they also revealed that the day with the least number of car thefts was Christmas Day, which only had 1,664 vehicles stolen. So what does that mean for us Michigan residents?
Keep Your Vehicle Safe With These Basic Tips:
Don’t “hide” a spare key on your vehicle.
Having a spare key tucked away in a little magnetic box on the underside of your car is super convenient when you’re locked out of your car. But this trick is now so common that many thieves check for a spare key long before they break a window. Don’t make it easy for someone to drive off in your car!
Keep your car secured.
This probably seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many people forget to lock their cars or roll up the windows. Nothing makes stealing a vehicle (or stealing things out of a car) easier than having it open to the public. So roll up those windows, lock ALL of the doors, and keep the keys where they’re safe.
Don’t keep valuables in your car.
Your car’s purpose is to carry you and your loved ones from point A to point B and back again. It isn’t a safe, or a storage bin. So make sure that you use it the way it was meant to be used. Keeping basic items in your car like tissues, children’s books, and non-perishable snacks is fine. Money, purses, expensive sunglasses, your wallet, jewelry and any other pricey items should be kept at home, not stored in the car. Especially if they can be seen through the car windows by passers-by! If you insist on using your car to store valuables, lock them in the trunk where they are out of sight of thieves.
Don’t leave your car running.
As Michigan residents, we understand the temptation to leave your car running while you finish getting ready inside. It’s so tempting when it’s freezing cold outside! But unless your vehicle has remote start capabilities, which allows it to run with the doors locked and the keys inside the house, it’s an invitation to opportunistic thieves. In addition, in most parts of Michigan you can be ticketed for leaving your car running without being in it.
Invest in an anti-theft device for your car.
Anti-theft devices can be pricey. However, if your car cost you a bundle, it may be a worthwhile investment. Because thieves are often looking for something “quick and easy,” a vehicle with a physical anti-theft device is much less appealing. This includes steering wheel locks, tire locks, vehicle immobilizer systems, kill switches, and vehicle tracking systems. Despite the extra cost, you might get a discount on your car insurance if it has an alarm. Speak with your insurance agent. And by the way, also speak to your insurance agent before you buy a car. They can tell you which cars are surcharged because they are stolen more often or are much more costly to repair.
Michigan Car Theft Laws:
Michigan doesn’t have specific laws that deal with stealing cars. Rather, we have general theft laws which includes stealing vehicles. However, stealing items from inside a car is covered under the Larceny From a Motor Vehicle statute. Stealing cars, and stealing from cars, are felonies in Michigan. The specific sentence would depend on the value of the vehicle (or items stolen from the vehicle).
If you or a loved one are accused of stealing a car, or stealing items out of a car, you’re going to need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call The Kronzek Firm night or day to discuss your case with a highly skilled criminal defense attorney. We are available 24/7, including holidays, at 866 766 5245. Michigan treats car theft very seriously! Your future is on the line here. We can help you.