New Year’s Day ranks 1st holiday car thefts


OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – AAA said New Years day is the number one holiday for car thefts. The association reports Oklahoma ranks 7th highest in the nation for car thefts on January 1st.

“Why not make your New Year’s resolution to keep your keys with you and to always lock your vehicle?” said Leslie Gamble, a spokesperson for AAA.

New Year’s Day is a time for celebration and renewal, but it’s also the prime opportunity for thieves to pop open a car door, hop inside, and take off.

“New Year’s Day is the number one holiday for vehicles to be stolen,” Gamble said.

Gamble told News 4, Oklahoma ranks 7th highest in the nation for stolen cars on the holiday. Crooks take advantage of drivers parking their cars in unfamiliar places.

“Perhaps vehicles being left somewhere with people not taking them home after a party at night, being at a different place, or not in their home garage or space,” she said.

AAA said pick-up trucks are at the top of the thieves wish list in Oklahoma, including full-size models from Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, and GMC.

“So if you’re a pickup owner, you really need to make this your New Year’s resolution that you lock your vehicle,” she said.

One of the top things AAA wants to make sure car users never do is keep the car running with the keys inside. That includes using the keyless feature. While it’s convenient for you, it’s also convenient for a crook.

“It’s pretty easy when you consider what the paint point is if you don’t,” Gamble said. “In Oklahoma last year, claims rose close to $10,000 per vehicle that was stolen.”

With the temperature dropping this New Year’s weekend, AAA said keeping an eye on your car’s upkeep is a must.

“There will be a lot of batteries that will be failing and there will be tire pressures that have changed,” Gamble told News 4.

If you’re enjoying this weekend indoors while letting your car sit outside unused, you could have a headache when trying to start the car up Monday morning.

“We might be surprised by a failed battery or tire pressure being low,” she said. “And you’ll probably at this point, want to go out and start it every once in awhile before you have to go somewhere. Check those things out like your tire pressure and make sure your car will start.”

AAA said the average lifespan of a car battery is about 3-5 years. When it’s 32-degrees outside, a car battery is 35% weaker. At 0-degrees, the car loses 60% of its strength.

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