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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Great Gasoline Giveaway Winners Announced

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (September, 2016) – The Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) congratulates its 2016 Great Gasoline Giveaway winners: Allison S. from Easton won the grand prize of free gasoline for a year, and William M. of Royersford and John S. of Fleetwood each won $500 gas cards.

“We reached millions of people this summer,” said Steven Wheeler, ATPA’s executive director. “We hope our winners, their friends and everyone who participated in our campaign continues to keep auto theft prevention top of mind, not only during the summer but throughout the rest of the year.”

ATPA sponsored the  2016 Great Gasoline Giveaway to remind drivers to protect theirs cars during peak theft season. The campaign primarily targeted 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 used social media, email, Pandora, Phillies’ radio broadcasts and digital advertising to reach residents or drivers in the greater Philadelphia area with prevention messages, primarily on their mobile devices.

“We want people to realize they actually don’t have to do much,” 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 www.watchyourcar.org.

Media Contact: Amanda Owens, 717-480-9479, amanda@watchyourcar.org

Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority

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