How to prevent car theft when visiting the Balloon Fiesta

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) — If you’re planning on visiting the 50th Balloon Fiesta, you’ve probably got tickets and your visit schedule planned. But have you thought about where you’re going to park your car and how to make sure it’s still there after you’re done with the balloons? Here’s what you need to know according to the Office of the State Superintendent of Insurance.

There will be patrols

First, you should know that there will be both Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) officers and Albuquerque Police Department officers monitoring the Balloon Fiesta. OSI officers will patrol high traffic areas.

Albuquerque Police (APD) will also have a special GPS monitoring program for balloon pilots. Free to local and visiting drivers, APD’s Real Time Crime Center will actively monitor these cars around the clock.

There are things you can do to protect your car

If you’re not an eligible driver for GPS monitoring, the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance says you can still take steps to protect your ride. Most of them might be obvious, but they could make all the difference.

  • Lock cargo and valuables in the trunk if you must leave them in the car. It puts them out of sight.
  • Close all windows and sunroofs.
  • Try to park in well-lit areas.
  • Take note of your surroundings

You can also follow some more advanced steps. These can provide an additional layer of security.

  • Have the vehicle identification number (VIN) engraved on the windows. OSI offers this service free of charge.
  • Use anti-theft locking devices, such as alarms or ignition cut-off switches.

And most importantly, if you’re confronted by a thief, the OSI says you shouldn’t resist. After all, “cars can be replaced, but you can’t,” OSI says in a press release.

Which cars are stolen most often?

The National Insurance Crime Bureau keeps tabs on which cars most often end up being stolen. Here are the most stolen vehicles in New Mexico.

  • Ford pickup (full size)
  • Chevrolet pickup truck (full size)
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Dodge Pick Up (full size)
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • GMC pickup (full size)
  • Kia (usually)
  • Honda-Civic
  • Honda Accord
  • Nissan Altima