Cars are not only one of our greatest connectors to the world beyond our driveway. For many they become an unintentional safe of sorts, storing personal belongings that we either haven’t yet allocated a home for or are just too important and useful to be kept very far from our side. No wonder, then, that thieves find a lucrative target both in what’s left behind in a car and the car itself. We hope the following tips prevent you from becoming a victim of either:
Always take your keys when stepping away from your vehicle and always lock your car. These may appear to be obvious statements to some, but you might be surprised to learn that nearly 20% of all stolen cars have the keys left in them, and approximately 50% of all stolen cars have been left unlocked.
Park in bright, well-lighted, and well-populated area. Over half of all vehicle crimes occur at night.
Place any item of value out of sight before you reach your destination. You never know who may be preying in the background (and seasoned thieves do), watching you as you “safely” put away your valuables, then knowing exactly where to go once you are out of sight.
Alarms or anti-theft devices are effective, as thieves are usually looking for the “easiest” target. But don’t make this common mistake: Having an alarm doesn’t mean thieves won’t break-in if you leave valuable items in plain sight.
Vehicle GPS systems are the “hottest” items that thieves are targeting both locally and nationally. It’s very simple, as police say: “If you leave a GPS system in your car, chances are it will be stolen.” Make sure to take the whole unit out of your vehicle, including the mounting bracket. If there’s even a hint that a GPS system could be in your car, that’s enough for a thief to take his chances.
If you’re looking for a place to purchase an anti-theft device, a great place to start is online on sites like Amazon or eBay. Then find an alarm installer in your area who is Mobile Electronics Certification Program (MECP) certified. You can find this specification by checking with the Better Business Bureau before you take your car in. Don’t forget to ask for a quick tutorial once the system is installed!