July 2, 2015

Fourth of July Weekend Prime Time for Vehicle Theft

While temperatures are rising in July, it is also one of the hottest months for vehicle theft in the United States, especially over the Independence Day weekend. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports 1,750 cars were stolen in the United States on Independence Day in 2013 and the Bureau has designated July as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the top two months for vehicle thefts are July and August.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) and the Louisiana Automobile Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (LATIFPA) are raising public awareness about the prevalence of vehicle theft and its many consequences, as well as offering motorists guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon notes that while FBI statistics show an improvement in Louisiana’s national rankings for the incidence of vehicles stolen, from 18th in 2007 to 24th in 2013, auto theft still presents a serious problem.

“The cost of auto theft doesn’t stop with the value of the stolen vehicle,” says Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “A stolen vehicle can become a source of personal information for thieves such as GPS directions to the owner’s home, registration and insurance information can be used to steal your identity, and it ultimately leads to higher insurance rates which hit the pocket book of every vehicle owner in our state.”

Commissioner Donelon and the LATIFPA are offering motorists the following tips for vehicle crime prevention:

  • Remove your keys from the ignition upon leaving the vehicle, and never leave your car’s engine running unattended, even for the briefest moment.
  • Close and lock all of your doors and windows.
  • Park in well-lit areas and in garages when possible.
  • Never leave valuables such as electronics in your vehicle, especially not in plain sight.

The LDI and the LATIFPA work to reduce vehicle theft rates in Louisiana through the agency’s various educational initiatives and public awareness campaigns that educate consumers on the importance of protecting themselves from vehicle theft. One of these initiatives is a high school video contest called “Protect My Ride: Louisiana.” For more information on the Fall 2015 contest and to see last year’s winning video from the Dunham School in Baton Rouge go to

About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting