At Elite Driving School, we recognize the importance of car owners doing their part to prevent the theft of their vehicle. According to the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI), auto theft is on the rise, with July and August being the busiest season. By being more aware of how professional thieves operate, car owners can better protect their vehicles.
Auto Theft: Yesterday and Today
In the past, most auto theft cases were the result of teenagers commandeering vehicles for joy riding with their friends. Today, a good number of car theft cases are conducted by professional thieves with the purpose of making money from their stolen merchandise. Many of these thieves have international crime connections, making it easier to “export” and sell their stolen property outside the country. By taking advantage of chop shops to dismantle vehicles, thieves can also sell parts for a hefty profit. Older vehicles, in particular, make great targets for stealing and selling used car parts.
Auto Theft Protection Guidelines
As an auto owner, it’s to your advantage to learn more about how to protect yourself from car theft and safeguard your personal property. The following vehicle theft protection guidelines gives greater insight into what measures you can take to secure your vehicle. These measures may seem elementary but they produce successful results.
- Always close and lock all windows and doors when parking your vehicle.
- Always put your emergency brake on when parking your vehicle as it makes it more difficult for thieves to tow away your car.
- Never leave your vehicle running while you run to the ATM, convenience store or into your home even for the shortest amount of time.
- Never hide an extra set of keys inside or outside of your vehicle.
- When out, always park in well-lit areas where there’s a steady flow of pedestrians or within an attended parking lot.
- At home, always lock and park your vehicle inside your garage.
- Never leave valuable items within plain sight inside your vehicle as this can attract potential thieves.
- Never carry the title or registration of your vehicle inside your car as it provides thieves with the legal paperwork to easily dispose of your vehicle after stealing it.
- If you own a GPS, program your personal address under a different title than “Home” to protect your personal information in the event your car is stolen.
- Have your VIN or personal ID number engraved on your vehicle’s windows, major parts and costly accessories so these can be easily identified by police when tracing stolen property.
- If you plan to leave your vehicle unattended for quite some time, consider disabling it by removing your distributor, rotor or fuse to your electronic ignition, etc.
- Install an audio alarm to alert you when someone is trying to break into or steal your vehicle.
- Consider using anti-theft devices such as kill switches, floorboard lock, steering wheel lock or tire locks, especially if you live in a high theft area.
- Install a vehicle tracking system to help recover your stolen vehicle quicker.
These vehicle theft protection strategies can help reduce the risk (and worry) of car theft, letting you enjoy your vehicle to the full for years to come.