INDIANAPOLIS --- Allstate Insurance Co. announced it has donated a "bait car" to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) to help catch car thieves in action. The IMPD's new bait car, outfitted with advanced technology, will be placed in various locations throughout the city in an attempt to reel in and catch car thieves in the act.

Indianapolis is one of 14 communities across the United States chosen to receive a bait car donated by Allstate. IMPD officially accepted the new bait car at a press conference March 31 at the Indianapolis City County building. To maintain its secret identity and not tip off thieves, the actual bait car donated to Indianapolis police was not visible to attendees. However, a demonstration bait car, outfitted with the same technology, was on hand for a live demonstration of how these vehicles are used to catch thieves in action.

"Vehicle theft is the No. 1 property crime in the country, costing Americans -- even those who are not direct victims -- about $7.6 billion a year in higher auto insurance premiums. This amounts to $200-$300 for every policyholder each year," said David Kaehr, vice president of sales for Allstate in Indiana.

A car is stolen in America every 26 seconds, adding up to 1.2 million vehicles each year. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the most popular stolen cars in Indiana include the 1990 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 pickup, 1999 Ford Taurus and 1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass, to name a few.

Allstate's bait car donations are part of a public awareness campaign taking place in 14 communities around the country. The campaign includes simulations of common vehicular crimes and anti-theft tips to help consumers protect themselves and their families.