Auto theft affects owners, but also how insurance companies operate as well as bank lending practices.
There’s a financial cost down the line! But guess what?
Auto theft is a totally preventable crime!
Simple devices and basic precautions will help you keep your car where you parked it.
According to Progressive Auto Insurance, there are 3 reasons cars are stolen:
- 55% of vehicles were unlocked
- 34% of vehicles had been left with windows open
- 6% were left with keys in the car
The majority of thefts are actually not professional jobs. Most are simply opportunistic and entirely avoidable.
With that in mind, here are 10 steps you should take:
Keep Your Car Locked At All Times!
Always lock your car when you walk away from it.
This also means rolling-up those windows. Ventilation is an invitation for thieves.
I lock my car even when it’s in the garage.
Folks, you just never know.
The more difficult you make it for a criminal, the better your chances of keeping your car “yours”.
Do Not Hide Away A Key
You’d be amazed how often people hide keys in or around their car.
Don’t do it!
Car thieves are bad people, but they’re not stupid. They know the typical, and not so typical, hiding places.
Never Tempt a Car Thief
Keep your valuables out of sight.
This includes cameras, laptop computers, purses, wallets and unopened packages.
At the very least, cover your valuables with a coat or blanket or put them in the trunk.
Make Your Car Tough to Steal
Use a mechanical theft deterrent.
You’ve seen them. The most famous is called The Club.
This well-known security bar locks in place. It prevents the steering wheel from turning.
This won’t stop a professional, but it will slow them down.
The Club, and other devices like it, can be defeated with a hacksaw. With determination and some time, they cut the steering wheel!
Shocking, but true.
Despite this, it generally works well and is worth the cost.
Use an Alarm that Disables
Buy an aftermarket alarm.
Here’s the deal though:
Have it professionally installed.
There are many types of electronic car alarms, as well as other deterrents.
The best alarm is one that will completely disable the car. Hands down!
On the other hand, few people pay much attention to alarm sirens these days.
They are simply an annoyance. Do not get a noise maker. It won’t work.
Always Keep Your Car Visible
Pay attention to where you’ve parked.
Always park your car in a well-lit and well-traveled area.
Don’t risk leaving your car in high-crime areas. Likewise, avoid parking in places that aren’t well-traveled.
Think like a criminal. Car thieves look for cars in dark alleys and deserted parking lots.
The safest parking lots are those with attendants.
Making Your Car Difficult to Tow
Avoid parking where your car can easily be towed.
Sounds strange, right?
Take it from me…
Car thieves often disguise themselves as tow truck drivers.
You are an easy target if you park your car at the end of a block.
I know. I had my first Porsche stolen by a tow truck.
Guys, they did a snatch-n-go. Gone in under 3 minutes.
Shut Your Car Off And Take the Keys
Never leave your car running. That is, unless you are sitting in the driver’s seat.
It’s not talked about but many thefts happen at gas stations. What happens is an owner leaves the car running while they run inside for directions, etc.
It can even occur right in front of your own home!
This is so preventable it’s not even funny.
Bottom line: Take your key with you when you get out of the car.
Protect Your Name And Address
Do not leave personal information in your car for a thief-in-disguise to see.
Think about it!
Do you valet park your car? Have the car worked on at a service center?
Be sure to take your registration with you or lock it in the glove box.
Regarding Valet Keys
Does your car come with a valet key?
Never give someone your regular ignition key. Likewise, do not put your address or your car’s license plate number on your keys!
A thief will know where to pick up their new car. Terrible.
Car Registration And Insurance Documents
Never leave any insurance or original registration documents in your car.
Doing so makes it easier to quickly sell the vehicle.
Be sure to make a copy of your registration papers. Then, write across the top and bottom of the copy “ORIGINAL MAINTAINED BY LEGAL OWNER”.
Don’t be a victim. Follow the above tips.
You will reduce the chances of your car being stolen!
What’s next: Check out the best ways to prepare your vehicle to be sold!