Great Gasoline Giveaway – Prevent Auto Theft & Enter to Win Free Gas!


Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (July, 2016) – Summer is the hottest time for auto theft. “July and August are usually peak theft months,” said Steven Wheeler, executive director of the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA). “Our summer awareness campaign aims to keep common sense measures top of mind this season.”

From June – August, ATPA is sponsoring the “Great Gasoline Giveaway” to remind drivers to protect theirs cars against theft. The campaign targets the southeast region of the state, which has the highest concentration of theft. About 18 cars a day are stolen in or around Philadelphia. In 2015, 6,422 vehicles were stolen in Bucks, Delaware, Philadelphia and Montgomery counties, with 5,059 of those vehicles stolen in Philadelphia.

The campaign reaches residents or drivers in the greater Philadelphia area with prevention messages on their mobile devices, email, social media or Pandora and Phillies’ radio. Pennsylvania residents over the age of 18 may answer theft prevention trivia questions and then enter to win free gasoline at Winners of a $500 gas card will be chosen in July and August, and 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.

“We want people to realize they actually have to do very little to protect their cars from theft,” said Wheeler. “More than half of PA’s stolen cars were left unlocked. Simply locking your vehicle encourages a would-be thief to move on to the next car. You don’t have to buy anything, you don’t have to doing anything drastic. Just lock it.”

Following these simple, common sense tips, at your home, work location, or while on vacation, can spare you 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.
  • 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 into 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, the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority 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

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