In 2017, 773,139 vehicles were stolen resulting in about $6 billion in losses. Even if you’ve never fell victim to auto theft personally, the risk is real.
Imagine how infuriating it would be to be left stranded at your own home because someone stole your car. Even if they didn’t steal your whole car, the items within could be worth some serious money.
While there is no 100% guaranteed way to stop vehicle theft from happening, there are a handful of easy ways to deter thieves from selecting your vehicle:
1.NEVER Leave Your Car Unattended if it’s Running
A report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that during the 3-year period from 2016-2018, a total of 376,773 vehicles were stolen because drivers left their keys in their vehicles with the doors unlocked.
Leaving your vehicle running with the keys inside is an open invitation for auto theft. Never leave your vehicle running if you aren’t inside.
2.Lock Your Car
This is the easiest, yet most forgotten, way to prevent auto theft. An unlocked vehicle is an easy target for auto theft.
Many newer vehicles can be set up to so when you reach a certain distance away from the vehicle, it will automatically lock. If your car doesn’t have such a feature, try to make it a habit to remember locking your vehicle. Set a reminder on your phone, or write yourself a note on the fridge – whatever it is that helps you remember to lock up!
Most thieves who steal from a vehicle aren’t criminal masterminds, rather, they are casual opportunists. If they see something they want, they will break in and take it. So before you leave your vehicle, make sure you didn’t forget any valuables on your seats, dashboard or floor.
- Purse or Wallet
- Cash – even loose change
- Keys – the biggest no no!
- A Laptop (or its bag)
- A briefcase or backpack
- Shopping bags
4.Utilize Anti-Theft Options
If you constantly park your car outside or travel and leave it at the airport for extended periods of time, a car anti-theft lock is a deterrent for anyone looking to steal it. They provide an extra layer of security so you don’t have to worry about the possibility of your vehicle being stolen. Below are some options you might consider:
Wheel lock anti-theft devices are the most common. They easily attach to the steering wheel of the car to keep it from turning. These anti-theft tools can be extended to fit most steering wheels. They come with keys that allow them to be unlocked with ease.
Brake locks attach to the brake or clutch pedal. This prevents either pedal from being depressed. These car anti-theft devices also lock in place and come with keys so you can unlock them quickly.
Tire locks clamp onto the tires, preventing them from spinning. They are typically made of heavy-duty steel and are easy to fit over tires, depending on what size device you get. Tire locks are more durable and are often used for vehicles that will be in one place for long periods of time.
Where your vehicle is parked has a lot to do with the probability of a break-in occurring. Parking wisely can help deter thieves:
- Do your best to study where you’re headed and plan routes that avoid high crime areas whenever possible.
- Park near other people where there is plenty of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
- Park in well-lit areas where thieves can’t hide in the shadows.