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July is auto theft prevention month

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RALEIGH — A car, truck or SUV is stolen every 40 seconds in the United States, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Summers are the worst season for stolen vehicles. To help drivers keep their automobiles safe, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is offering some tips during Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.

In 2018, the DMV License and Theft Bureau recovered 1,467 stolen vehicles valued at a combined $13.8 million. The state’s most popular vehicles stolen were Honda Accords and full-size Ford pickup trucks.

There are several practical ways that drivers can help prevent vehicle theft:

• Park in well-lit areas;

• Lock all doors and close windows when parking;

• Don’t leave your vehicle unattended while it’s running;

• Never leave your keys in your vehicle; and

• Always conceal your valuables.

Taking a few seconds to check vehicles can save a lot of time and money, the NCDOT says.