While no vehicle is exempt, there are some common sense things you can do to reduce your risk of car theft. High-performance vehicles like the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, luxury vehicles including the Chrysler 300, and pickup trucks are listed among the 20 most stolen vehicles according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). If you drive one of these vehicles, you should be especially vigilant.
While parking in a well-lit area will help deter criminals, parking close to building entrances and near parking lot security cameras adds extra layers of protection. If you use a parking garage, try to park as close to the attendant or a security camera as possible. On an incline, leave your car in park or in gear with the wheels turned toward the curb or some other obstruction. This makes it harder for thieves to tow your vehicle.
Secure Your Vehicle
Whenever you park your car, even in your own driveway, close and lock the windows and doors to help prevent car theft. While it may be a bit uncomfortable for a few moments after you enter your car, resist the temptation to leave windows cracked during the summer.
Don’t Leave Your Car Running
Leaving your car running invites theft. Resist the urge to start your car on a wintry morning, then head back inside for a cup of coffee while it warms up. More than a third of all vehicle thefts occur near the car owner’s residence.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle where a potential car thief can spot them. An iPad, cell phone, or even spare change can be enough to entice a car thief to break into your vehicle. Once inside, they may decide to take the vehicle itself. If you must leave a valuable item in your car, put it in the trunk or a covered cargo area. But be aware, the bad guy may be watching as you secure your items. A better idea is to leave valuables at home.
Keep Up With Your Keys
Many people make the mistake of hiding a spare key under the wheel well or some other inconspicuous place under the car. But, the quicker a thief can steak your vehicle, the more attractive it is. Don’t hide a spare key inside your vehicle either. Anything you can do to slow them down will make your vehicle a less attractive target.
Use an Anti-Theft Device
Thieves are reluctant to steal vehicles they know will be recovered quickly. So, many insurance companies offer a premium discount for vehicles that have an antitheft device. These devices go a long way toward preventing auto theft. Thieves are looking for an easy target. Don’t make it easy for them.
Some common types of anti-theft devices include:
- Steering wheel locks
- Ignition cut-off systems that prevent your car from being started
- Passive alarm systems that activate automatically when the key is removed from the ignition
- Alarm systems that emit a signal that can be tracked by the police.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially in garages, parking lots and gas stations. Look around. If you see anything suspicious or you don’t feel comfortable, drive to a safer location.
Don’t become a victim. Use these tips to reduce your risk of car theft. And, to keep your vehicle running in top shape, schedule a vehicle service visit or call 615-288-8535 today.