The annual “Hot Spots” report lists metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest rate of vehicle theft. After many years near the top of the list, Tucson and Phoenix have dropped in the rankings.
A report with data from 2012 said Tucson fell from 37th to 44th place while Phoenix fell from 60th to 70th place.
“This is one time when it’s good to fall in the rankings,” said Valerie Vinyard, a spokeswoman for AAA. “Your car is safer now in the state.”
Historically, Arizona has always ranked high on the list. Vinyard said this is due partially to Arizona’s proximity to the border.
However, increased law enforcement and technology have helped cut down on the number of thefts. Vinyard said getting a Vehicle Identification Number etched on your windows could act as a deterrent for potential thieves.
“It’s kind of like your vehicle’s thumb print,” Vinyard said. “It’s a lot less attractive to thieves if they would have to remove every single piece of glass and put something else in.
Despite the increased security, she said to never leave your car unattended while it’s running.
“In today’s heat, it’s very tempting to start your car, put on the air conditioning, maybe run in the house for a minute,” Vinyard said. “But AAA doesn’t recommend that.”
Vinyard also said it’s important to remember to lock your doors and park in well-lit areas.
Kayla Samoy is a University of Arizona journalism student and intern at Arizona Public Media.