7 Tips to Prevent Snowmobile Theft

23 Feb 2022

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently released a report on snowmobile thefts in 2018 and 2019. While not as widespread as thefts related to other types of vehicles, snowmobile thefts can prove particularly detrimental in areas of the country where it is difficult to get around during the winter without one.

The report reveals some stark information concerning snowmobile thefts. Between January 1st, 2018, and December 31st, 2019, 949 snowmobiles were stolen. The top five states for the number of snowmobile thefts, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Alaska, and New York, had a combined total of 474 thefts, making up 50% of the total number of stolen snowmobiles.

The sad news for snowmobile owners, whether intending their snowmobiles for joyriding or more practical purposes, is that only 43% of snowmobiles were recovered after being stolen!

What Can Owners Do to Protect their Investments?

Snowmobiles are not small investments. Losing one to theft can be an even bigger loss than you realize. Not only is it a financial loss, but it can be a loss of functionality for people who rely on snowmobiles for transportation to get to work or conduct business when it’s snowing. Below are some of the things you can do to protect your snowmobile from thieves.

  1. Mind the keys. First of all, never leave your keys in the ignition. You may live in a remote place where you think you’re safe, but you can never be sure. Keep your keys in a secure place that only you know about.
  2. Lock it up. Besides removing the keys from the ignition, locking your snowmobile to a heavy object like a tree or another snowmobile is a great way to prevent theft.
  3. Park your snowmobile safely. When parking your snowmobile, avoid parking it on places like high snow banks or berms that make it easy for people to load it onto a vehicle. Also, if you’re stopping at a rest area, choose a well-lit location to park it that can be easily seen by yourself and others.
  4. Garage your snowmobile. Out of sight really is out of mind for many people. Most thieves target things that are convenient to steal and in plain sight. Keeping your snowmobile in a garage will ensure that thieves won’t be able to see it and would have to break into your garage to try and steal it.
  5. Illuminate your snowmobile. If you aren’t storing it in the garage, consider investing in lighting that keeps the area where it is stored well lit. The other thing thieves dislike is visibility.
  6. Use VIN number etching. Etch the VIN number into various components of your snowmobile and take photos. This will deter some thieves (especially those seeking to sell your snowmobile) and can be instrumental in identifying recovered snowmobiles as yours.
  7. Invest in GPS asset tracking for your snowmobile. GPS tracking can greatly aid in a swift recovery of your stolen machine. It enables you to set alerts to let you know instantly if your snowmobile has been taken. GPS tracking will allow you to see the real-time location of your snowmobile, and provide that information to the authorities so they can quickly recover it. If more of the snowmobiles stolen in the NICB’s report had GPS tracking, it’s highly likely that more than the 43% would have been located.

Implement all of these snowmobile theft protection strategies to prevent your snowmobile from becoming yet another NICB statistic.

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