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Vehicle Theft Among the Membership: Trends & How to Reduce Risk

KWTTKN Car Driver Hero

PURE Staff

October 24, 2023

In 2022, more than 1 million vehicles were stolen in the United States—up 7% from the year prior1. While the PURE membership did not experience that same increase in instances of auto theft, the severity of these claims more than doubled from 2021 to 2022.

This sharp increase can be attributed to several factors but is largely due to an increase in the number of vehicles that were totaled while they were in the hands of the thief. Our team analyzed auto theft data among the membership and identified several trends, the most staggering of which was that:

Of all vehicle thefts in 2022, 70% occurred when the vehicle was left unlocked with the key fob or key inside.

Where are keys at the time of theft?

70% of the time, the vehicle was unlocked with the key fob or keys in the car at the time it was stolen

Where does theft take place?

74% of the time, the vehicle was stolen from the home; 50% from the driveway, 19% from the street in front of the home and 5% from the garage

How often are vehicles recovered?

68% of the time, the vehicle was recovered by the police, and in most of those cases (69%), the vehicle was totaled due to damages caused by the thief

Vehicle theft can go beyond losing a car; many vehicles have complex computer systems that can store an extraordinary amount of data. Perhaps most concerning is that there is often either a garage door opener within the vehicle or the vehicle is programmed to open the garage, which could potentially grant thieves access to your home.

In very rare cases, the owner of a stolen vehicle could be held liable for injuries caused by the thief who stole and crashed their car.

The laws have shifted to where the owner of a car could now be found negligent for failing to prevent the theft.
– Mark Calzaretta, Founding Partner, Magna Legal Services

The most common vehicles stolen from our members are BMW, Mercedes Benz and Land Rover.

Reminders to reduce your risk

Although it is impossible to prevent vehicle theft altogether, you can significantly reduce the risk with a few simple and easy changes in behavior.

  • Never leave the key fobs or keys in your vehicle and make it a habit to always lock your car when it's unoccupied.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside.
  • Try to park in a driveway or garage whenever possible. If you must park on the street, park in well-lit areas.

What to do if your vehicle is stolen

Should you become a victim of vehicle theft, following the steps below can increase the chances that your vehicle is recovered.

  • Contact the police to file a stolen-vehicle report and have as much information as possible ready to share with authorities, such as make, model, color and license plate number.
  • Contact us to report that the vehicle has been stolen.


Total Loss Vehicle
When the cost to repair a car exceeds its value

A vehicle may be deemed a total loss when the estimated cost to repair it exceeds the actual cash value of the car.

The total amount paid on a claim

The financial value of a loss or the total amount paid on an insurance claim.