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AAA: Theft of Kentucky legislator's vehicle is reminder of worsening vehicle theft problem

Lock your cars! Vehicle theft spikes in COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 11:31 AM, Aug 30, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — AAA warns about the nation's growing vehicle theft problem after a Kentucky legislator's vehicle was stolen Monday.

Kentucky State Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson, who represents parts of Fayette and Scott counties, posted on social media about the theft of her Chevy Tahoe stolen from a parking lot at Lexington Green.

Rep. Stevenson noted that her license plate identified her vehicle as belonging to a state representative.

We know there is always a spike in stolen vehicles at this time of year, and given the upward trend in auto thefts we have seen this year so far, we could find that 2022 closes out worse than usual in terms of auto theft,” says Lori Weaver Hawkins of AAA Blue Grass.

“Monday night's theft of Rep. Stevenson's vehicle is a timely reminder to all vehicle owners to take every precaution to deter thieves and protect what is likely one of their most significant investments.”

Vehicle thefts continue to be a problem, especially this time of year. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the summer months, and August in particular, are the hottest months for stolen vehicles.

According to the NICB, the number of stolen vehicles nationwide jumped almost 20% in the two-year period from 2019 through 2021. If the number of car thefts in 2022 to-date is any indication, there will be nearly 1 million vehicles reported stolen by year’s end.

Lexington Police Department reports there have been 661 automobile thefts in the city alone from Jan. 1 through June 30 of this year.

Kentucky ranked within the top half of the nation in terms of number of vehicle thefts in 2020.

AAA offers the following tips for protecting your vehicle against theft:

  • Never leave your keys in the vehicle.
  • Never leave a running vehicle unattended.
  • Lock your car, whether parked or driving.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight. Never leave anything in your vehicle that might tempt a break-in.
  • Be especially cautious as night.
  • Do not resist carjackers. As expensive and inconvenient as it is, replacing your car is nothing compared to losing your life or becoming seriously injured.
  • Get your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into every window on your vehicle.