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July is National Vehicle Theft Protection Month
Protect yourself from being a victim

Contact: Dan Vartanian, ATPA Executive Director (517) 241-1087
Agency: State Police

Issued: July 21, 2014

LANSING – During National Vehicle Theft Protection Month, the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) is seeking to educate the public and raise awareness on auto theft and carjackings.

"July and August are the top months of the year for vehicle theft in Michigan and throughout the country," said Mr. Dan Vartanian, executive director of ATPA. "Motorists can avoid becoming victims by taking some simple precautions."

The ATPA suggests the following tips:

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Keep your keys with you at all times. Never leave your keys in or on your vehicle.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park your vehicle.
  • Always park in well-lit areas or in a garage, if possible.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially in view.

Additional information on how to prevent becoming a victim can be found by visiting the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security at http://www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/rpt/19782.htm.

Since the inception of the ATPA in 1986, auto thefts in Michigan have decreased by over 65 percent.

The ATPA assesses the scope of the problem of automobile theft, analyzes various methods of combating the problem, establishes a plan for providing financial support to combat automobile theft and grants funds for theft prevention teams. The authority is governed by a seven-member board of directors appointed by the Governor, which includes representatives of law enforcement, automobile insurers and consumers of automobile insurance. Each year the board awards grants to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices and nonprofit community organizations to prevent auto theft, catch auto thieves and put the thieves in jail. For additional information about the authority, visit www.michigan.gov/atpa.