BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — July is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month and Bakersfield has been listed as the city with the highest rate of vehicle thefts in the country, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Each year, AAA reports more than 700,000 vehicles are stolen nationwide with more than 180,000 taken within the state of California.

Industry observers caution that thieves constantly devise new and sophisticated means of stealing cars with tactics including acquiring smart keys, which eliminated hot-wiring to steal cars, switching vehicle identification numbers and using stolen identities to secure loans for expensive vehicles.

To help prevent vehicle theft, remember to always lock your vehicle with all windows closed, utilize anti-theft devices, put away all valuables, at night park your vehicle in a well-lit area and never leave your keys in the vehicle.