The new year is fast approaching, meaning car owners should take care to secure their vehicles now, recommends the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
New Years Day had the most car thefts out of any holiday in 2009 according to a NICB analysis, while Christmas had the fewest reported thefts.
A total of 22,991 vehicles were reported stolen during the 11 federal holidays in 2009. Out of those, 2,760 occured on New Years Day, closely followed by 2,325 stolen on Halloween.
The holiday spirit apparently does affect people, as Christmas had the least thefts at 1,336 followed by Thanksgiving with 1,620.
While NCIB statistics indicate that overall car theft has been declining consistently for six years, the organization still suggests that car owners "maintain [their] vigilance" and obtain a full-coverage car insurance policy that will protect against vehicle theft.
Some neighborhoods have reported increased levels of criminal activity around the holiday season, when shoppers are most frequent and stores are packed. In December, The State Journal reported that there had been a string of purse snatching's in South Charleston, West Virginia. The newspaper reported that the area also experienced more occurrences of burglaries and car break ins.
"You walk by a car and you see packages in there so do the thieves," said Lt. Hugh Leishman of the South Charleston Police Department.
There are simple ways to reduce the risk of car theft, according to Carinsurance.com. These methods include simple practices like locking car doors, never leaving car keys in the ignition unattended, and parking in well-lighted populated areas, to vehicle upgrades like tinting car windows or installing anti-theft alarm systems.