Cars are being stolen more now than ever, and it’s getting easier for them to do so the more comfortable we get as a society.
Unfortunately, motor vehicle theft is going up; it’s over 3.1% nationally now, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime data report.
However, you don’t have to end up another statistic. With these 12 tips and tricks, you’ll be able to greatly reduce your risk of a car break-in in your lifetime.
1. Don’t leave your car running
This one is obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how easily people ignore it on a daily basis. I once left my car running to get something from my home that I forgot. Next thing I know my car was halfway down the street. I had only left it running for about 3 minutes.
Turns out my brother had stolen my car to pull a prank on me. Lesson learned. Remember, your car is vulnerable from the moment you leave it so don’t make it easy on them.
2. Lock your doors
Many people think that their car will be safe even if they’re just putting money into the meter. However, that’s not always true as thieves only need a second to catch you off guard. Get into the habit of locking your doors every time you leave your car.
3. Get an alarm
Whether it’s for your new Mercedes or your old rust bucket, you should get an alarm to protect yourself from burglars. Make sure to activate your alarm by testing it at home or in an abandoned lot so you know that it works.
4. Park in a well-lit area
The place a car is parked in has a lot to do with the risk of a car getting stolen. Your car is much more at risk if you park in large parking places, such as a movie theater or a shopping mall. It is also more at risk if you park next to quick exits like a freeway, places with bad surveillance, or near schools where other crimes could happen in conjunction.
5. Don’t leave your earphones in the front seat!
Try to keep everything securely hidden and out of sight from potential vandals in the area. Especially if you plan on leaving your car in the parking lot for an extended period of time. I once left my earphones in the center console in my old 2000 Corolla. When I came back to the bus parking lot after a long day at work, my car was swarming with Police and headlights everywhere.
When I asked them what had happened, they told me that somebody tried to steal things in my car. I asked them what the robber was doing in my car, and they told me that he tried to steal the earphones that I left on the center console! I was totally shocked of course, but it proves my point.
If you leave anything that robbers would want out in the open, they can and will try to break into your car to get it.
6. Close your windows and sunroofs
It goes without saying that by leaving your windows open, you are asking for a car break-in. A thief will most likely try to get into your car by breaking one of the front windows. Therefore, rolling them up and reinforcing them goes a long way towards securing your vehicle better.
7. Make it hard for them
This encompasses all the other points- keep the windows rolled up, hide your valuables, park in a busy, well-lit area, and lock ALL of your doors when you leave. You want to make thieves as least interested in your car as possible.
8. Don’t let them take your car for a joyride
This one speaks to me personally. It happened to me one night when I was young. I gave some people at a party too much information about myself. The next day at work, when I clocked out at my shift and went to the parking lot, my car was gone.
I found out a few weeks later that those same party people had stolen my car and taken it for a joyride. They ended up taking my backpack in the trunk which carried my iPod and all of my electrician tools for school.
9. Stash before- not after- you park
You want to start putting grocery bags in the trunk right when you come back to your car, not after you park at the next place. That’s because thieves go by what they see, so if you put your bags in the back seat, for example, they are much more likely to take action than if you stowed them away.
10. Know where your keys are at all times
Bring your keys with you wherever you go. Car thieves know all the spots in your vehicle where you could possibly keep spare keys such as the center console, above the visor, and under the floor mat.
11. Get an anti-theft device
Investing in an anti-theft device is a smart choice. Whatever it is, whether it’s a window alarm, a steering wheel lock, or even an ignition cut-off system. It’ll make thieves spend more time in your car, making it more likely they’ll lose interest or get caught. And that makes your car safer already by comparison.
- AAA programs anti-theft
- Verizon Hum
The moral of the story is: use common sense. Most thieves prey on naïve drivers who put too much trust in the safety of their cars. And most of the time, those are the people that end up getting their car stolen or broken into. So it very much depends on people making responsible decisions when it comes to keeping their cars and valuables safe.
If you want to keep your car safe and secure, try calling a locksmith in your area. Our technicians can install an ignition cut-off system or window alarms to deter thieves and protect your car from break-in. We are here to help 24 hours a day at Payless Locksmith Santa Monica.