Theft Prevention Tips
Auto theft is a multi-billion-dollar industry. In the U.S. alone, vehicles continue to be stolen at an average rate of 1.1 million per year. And with there being far more cars on the streets than police officers, sadly, there’s not much law enforcement can do in the way of preventing this intrusive crime. But you can!
For starters, let’s take a look at some important information you need to know about auto theft.
Auto Theft in the 21st Century
In looking at today’s statistics, approximately 89% of auto thefts occur in metropolitan areas. With numerous cars parked along streets and in large, open parking lots, it’s easy to see why cities with dense populations are prime targets for auto theft.
Making auto theft even more appealing to criminals is the difficulty police have in tracking down stolen vehicles within large cities. One reason is due to so many of today’s vehicles looking alike. The other reason is because it often takes car owners hours and sometimes even days to realize their car was stolen. This, along with a lack of suspects and eyewitnesses, gives police very little to go on in way of leads. As a result, less than 20% of stolen cars are recovered.
Over the years, car theft has become an organized crime, with large groups of thieves working together to fill vehicle orders for buyers. Shipping stolen vehicles out of the country is also a very common practice within these groups. Of course, there are many juveniles that will steal a car just to impress their friends or for an adrenaline-filled joy ride. However, most criminals steal vehicles so that they can sell or trade them for cash and drugs.
Some criminals use stolen vehicles to carry out even worse crimes—drive-by shootings, armed robbery, and even murder and rape. This puts car owners at great risk, especially if your car is involved in a hit-and-run accident. If you can’t prove you weren’t the one behind the wheel, you could be easily considered a suspect. Even if you reported your car missing, you could be accused of filing a false report as an attempt to transfer the blame of the accident on a thief.
Car Theft Prevention Tips
As you can see, auto theft provides thieves with numerous money-making rewards. It’s also a crime that’s extremely easy for criminals to pull off without getting caught. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. You can minimize your chance of becoming a victim by adding layers of auto theft prevention measures.
The following proven steps can help lower the risk of having your car stolen:
- Always lock your car and roll your windows up, even if parked inside the garage of your home.
- Never leave your car registration, drivers license, or insurance information in your car. Always take it with you.
- Always look for parking areas that are well lit and near high-traffic areas. Avoid parking your car in discrete and/or dark, shadowy areas
- Always take your parking garage pay ticket with you. Leaving it in your car provides would-be thieves with an easy way out of the parking lot.
- Many new vehicles include various anti-theft devices. So if you are in the market for a new car, do your research and consider vehicles with built-in theft prevention.
- Never leave your car unattended when it’s running or when the keys are in the ignition—even if it’s for just a few seconds. That’s all it takes for a thief to slip into your car and drive away!
- Never leave credit cards or personal documents that include identifying information in your vehicle. (By following this step you just may prevent yourself from becoming an identity theft victim.)
- Never give valet parking attendants or auto repair technicians any other key than the key to your ignition. Also, be sure that you do not leave any personal information attached to the key or key ring.
- Write down your vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number on a piece of paper and keep this information with your drivers license. This information is crucial should you ever need to report your car as stolen.
- Install a thick steel locking mechanism, such as a club or J-bar, to your steering column, steering wheel, or brake pedal. Not only will this prevent the steering wheel of your vehicle from being turned for driving, it will also act as a visible deterrent for thieves.
- A car alarm can be effective if combined with other forms of auto theft-prevention devices. If you have a car alarm installed in your car, turn it on each and every time you leave your car. Also be sure to prominently display the alarm decal, as this will act as another form of deterrent.
- Never leave money, purses, cell phones, GPS units, or any other valuables within plain view. If you have to leave something of value in your car, place it in the trunk. Additionally, don’t leave a cigarette lighter charger, GPS or cell phone cradle sitting on your dashboard, as it maybe an indication to thieves you’re concealing valuable electronics hidden in your glove box or truck.
By increasing the layers of security of your vehicle, you’ll increase the time and effort required for a thief to steal your car, thereby increasing his risk of being caught. As a result, would-be thieves will view stealing your car more trouble than it’s worth and move on to easier targets.
Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.
Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:
The American Society for Industrial Security.
The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.
The Society of Professional Locksmiths.