Did you know the dog days of summer are prime time for auto theft? That’s right. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the top two months for vehicle theft are July and August!

Car theft can happen anywhere and anytime, but it’s important to remember that often these are “crimes of opportunity” and it can be our own careless mistake that makes the ‘opportunity’ too good to resist!

So a few words of advice may be in order…

• Don’t leave your car running because “it’s just a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts” or, you’re “only running into the store for a LOTTO ticket”

• Always take your key; don't leave it in or on your vehicle.

• Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.

• Park in well-lit areas - in a garage, if possible.

• Never leave valuables in your vehicle, and in sight.

• When you’re stopping for gas, take your car keys out of the ignition. If you have to go inside the store to purchase something, lock the vehicle.

NHTSA says we’re all susceptible to vehicle theft, but some of us are more likely to have to make that phone call or visit to the police department. These are the states that are the worst for auto theft:

1) California; 2) Florida; 3) Texas; 4) Illinois; 5) Georgia; 6) Nevada; 7) Maryland; 8) North Carolina; 9) Arizona 10) Missouri and New Jersey (it’s a tie).

Additionally, NHTSA notes that audio equipment and wheel covers aren’t the only items that get grabbed…especially popular are air bags, GPS units, iPods, laptops and purses.

Click here to see the model cars in greatest demand:

NHTSA's List of Cars Most Often Stolen