How to Protect Your Car From Thieves
Tips and tricks to reduce your chances of theft.
Automobile theft is a major issue. There was about $6 billion lost in 2018. While the numbers have been trending downward since theft peaked in 1991, criminals are constantly devising new ways to break into and steal cars. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help keep your car safe.
Never Leave Your Car Idling and Unattended
It’s often tempting to leave your car running when you’re making a quick trip, especially when it’s cold out. No matter how fast you think you’ll be, you should never leave your car running when no one is inside. Thieves frequent places where this occurrence is common, such as convenience stores and gas stations. Always shut your car off and take your keys with you.
Always Keep It Locked
It’s not enough to simply shut your car off and take your keys. You should also always lock your doors, even when it’s parked at your home and in your garage. Some thieves can hotwire cars. This enables them to make off with your vehicle, even though your keys are with you. The harder thieves have to work to get into your car, the less likely they are to attempt to steal it.
Keep the Windows Closed
Before shutting off your car, make sure all of your windows (including your sunroof) are closed. Leaving them open (even just slightly) increases the risk of theft. If you’re concerned about your car getting too hot, use a sunshade for your windshield.
Use a Camera
Whether a thief makes off with your car and it’s found later on or someone attempted to break into your car, it’s almost impossible to know who did it (unless you catch them in the action). Installing a dash cam in your car can be quite beneficial. It can catch the person trying to break into your car (or making off with it). The presence of the camera may even deter thieves from attempting to take your vehicle in the first place.
When you park your car, always leave it in a visible location. Thieves don’t just steal cars at night. If the parking space is secluded or out of view, a thief may try to take a vehicle even in broad daylight. If you’re parking at night (or won’t get back to your car until after dark) make sure you find a well-lit location as well.
Avoid Leaving Valuables in Plain Sight
Ideally, you should never leave any valuables in your car. If you do leave a bag or phone behind, make sure that you stow it out of sight (such as in the glove box or the trunk). If you have any charging cables plugged in, you should hide these, too. Keeping valuables out of sight will help your car to avoid the attention of would-be thieves.
Consider a GPS-Enabled Tracker
In the event your car is stolen, it can be found. Often, you need to file a police report and provide a description of the vehicle so that the authorities can help you locate it. This process can take a while and there may be a chance that the car will never be recovered.
You can increase the likelihood of getting your vehicle back with a GPS tracker. The technology can pinpoint the location of your vehicle and transmit the data to the authorities, enabling the police to get your vehicle back.
Install an Immobilizing Device
Immobilizing devices can be very effective in preventing theft. If a thief manages to break into your car, the device prevents them from making off with it. You can easily install a fuse cut-off, ignition disabler, or kill switch for a fairly affordable price. These devices keep your car from starting unless you activate them with a hidden switch.
Even if you live in a safe neighborhood or think your car will be fine no matter where you go, car theft happens. Taking some of these steps can help you to protect your car no matter where you are.