A Widespread Problem

Did you know the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports a car goes missing in the United States every 44 seconds? Although national rates for this crime have generally declined during the past decade, vehicle owners still need to remain vigilant. The incidence of auto theft varies significantly depending upon the make and model of the vehicle and the state. Yet far too many drivers still experience the pain of losing an automobile to thieves!

Stolen vehicles prove costly to the public, also. Overall increases in car insurance quotes due to this type of criminal activity burden drivers in many places. Everyone possesses a vested interest in reducing automotive theft. Adhering to five simple common sense guidelines can help secure your property against car thieves:

One: Don’t Leave The Keys in The Car

Studies have shown that many car thefts remain “crimes of opportunity”. To prevent someone from impulsively driving off with your automobile after you park, it remains a smart idea to remove the keys.

For instance, when detectives in Louisville, Kentucky observed an increase in automotive thefts, they discovered a surprising number of car owners had simply parked and left their keys in the ignition. Get into the habit of always taking your car keys with you whenever you leave your vehicle, even if you stop briefly to complete an errand.

Two: Make a Habit of Locking Doors And Windows

Another useful proactive measure to deter car theft involves keeping the doors and windows of parked vehicles securely locked. Taking this step could prevent a thief from breaking into your car.

Recently in Springfield, Missouri, a truck owner suffered injuries trying to prevent a thief from hot-wiring his vehicle. Some car thieves use “hot wiring” techniques to abscond with a car or truck even when the owner has removed the keys. To avoid problems, always lock your auto and shut the windows!

Three: Park in Secure Locations

By parking in a secure location, you’ll minimize your chance of becoming a car theft victim. For instance, a locked garage provides an extra level of security protecting a parked vehicle. Given the choice between stealing your automobile, and searching for an easier target, a car thief would probably look elsewhere.

If you must park on the street, try and find a well-lit location. Thieves seeking to break into vehicles or hot wire them generally avoid bright, clearly illuminated spots. They don’t want to attract attention to their illicit activities.

Four: Consider Installing Anti-Theft Technology

Installing an anti-theft alert system makes your vehicle harder for most thieves to access. A growing number of automakers furnish built-in systems to help protect customers.

Today, sophisticated anti-theft technologies provide impressive assistance to car owners. Some systems allow the police to shut down a vehicle from a distance, preventing thieves from using a stolen auto for transportation, for instance.

Five: Remove Valuable Personal Items Before Parking

Security experts also urge drivers to remove personal items from parked vehicles. Criminals sometimes smash car windows to retrieve valuables from the interior.

Remove laptops, cell phones, purses, wallets, shopping bags and other belongs from view. Taking this precaution could deter a vehicle break-in that damages your auto or escalates into a car theft.

Protecting Your Automotive Investment

Following these five simple steps helps many drivers reduce the risk of becoming a crime victim. By always taking your keys with you when exiting the car, securing doors and windows, parking in safe locations, relying on anti-theft technologies and removing personal property from view, you’ll lessen your odds of suffering a car theft. Adhering to these simple proactive measures remains preferable to undergoing the painstaking process of vehicle recovery!


By:  Kevin Faber