3rd Annual Great Gasoline Giveaway – Prevent Auto Theft & Enter for a Chance to Win Free Gas!

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (June 1, 2018) – The Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) asks drivers to practice common sense theft prevention as auto theft heats up this season.

“Auto theft is often a crime of opportunity, and in the summer there’s simply more opportunity,” said Steven Wheeler, executive director of ATPA. “Our summer awareness campaign aims to educate Pennsylvanians that stolen vehicles are often used to commit other crimes. Our aim is to provide drivers across Pennsylvania — particularly those in high theft areas like Philadelphia — that avoiding auto theft is as simple as locking your car and taking your keys, every time.”

From June 1 – September 14, ATPA is sponsoring the third annual “Great Gasoline Giveaway” to remind drivers to take common sense steps to protect themselves from auto theft and its resulting impacts. The campaign targets the southeast region of the state, which has the highest concentration of theft. In 2018, more than 12,716 vehicles were stolen in Pennsylvania, with the majority of those vehicles stolen in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

The campaign reaches residents or drivers statewide and also concentrates on the greater Philadelphia area with prevention messages via email, social media, and Phillies’ radio. Pennsylvania residents over the age of 18 may answer theft prevention trivia questions and then enter for a chance to win free gas at Weekly winners will be selected and awarded a $100 gas card. The winner of free gas for a year will be chosen at the conclusion of the campaign and announced in September. ATPA will post the winners on its Facebook page and at

Follow these simple, common sense tips, at your home, work location, or while on vacation, to spare yourself and your loved ones the hassle and expense of having your car stolen:

  • Lock the car, take the keys, every time. For most drivers, it’s a habit to either leave the keys in the car, or to take them with you. If it’s not a habit for you, consciously make the decision to double check that you have your keys as you walk away from the vehicle. No place is safe from vehicle theft, even your driveway in your typically safe neighborhood.
  • Don’t be a puffer. Do not leave your car running and unattended. While it’s tempting to let the air conditioning keep the car cool while you run in to grab a cup of coffee, it only takes a thief a few seconds to steal your car. It’s also illegal in some jurisdictions to leave your car running and unattended.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car. Leaving cell phones, mail, garage door openers, wallets, computers, or other valuables in the car attracts thieves. Leaving mail and sensitive information in your car also leaves you vulnerable to identity theft.

Created in 1994 by the state legislature, ATPA provides grants statewide to a number of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors with the goal of reducing auto theft. The Authority has demonstrated significant and cost-effective success in achieving that objective, especially when compared to nearby states. During the past decade, the rate of auto theft in Pennsylvania has declined 52%. For more information about auto theft in Pennsylvania, county-by-county statistics, and theft prevention tips, visit

Media Contact: Amanda Owens, 717-480-9479

Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority

5 Kacey Court, Suite 201 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
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