Car theft is something that occurs very often. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration one vehicle is stolen in every 44 second in the US. 50% of cars are recovered. This may seem to be a high success rate but, the cars recovered are found to be completely stripped of parts. The cars are also found abandoned and in a very bad condition.
Cars are stolen either to sell their parts or the car itself; or sometimes for a joy ride.
Five steps to stop thieves in their tracks are given below.
1. Keep your car keys safe
Many cases of theft occur when the thief has easy access to the car keys. Leaving your keys unprotected is an open invitation to them. Even at home do not keep the spare key under the door mat etc. This is noticed by many. People do this to avoid being locked out of their cars accidentally.
2. Park intelligently
Always park your car in a well lit place. Garages used must be secure with attendants. There are security cameras installed in public places. Usually these are found outside supermarkets, offices, banks etc.
If you are unable to find such locations and have to park your car in open places leave the car wheels turned towards the curb. This makes stealing a little difficult as the car thief has to maneuver the car to get away. Parking your car facing the wall also has the same effect.
3. Avoid keeping valuables or displaying them in the car
Very often cars are stolen because the thief is tempted by a loaded purse, I pad, etc clearly visible. This may cause him to break/open the door or window. Once accessible he may decide to take the car itself. Shield the car stereo by using a flap cover.
4. Protect your car
Develop the habit of always locking the car and closing the windows when you leave your car unattended. This practice must be followed even when you park your car in your driveway. If you have alloy wheels then protect them with locking wheel nuts. New cars now come fitted with immobilizers. You can get them fitted in your car if it does not have it. They may not prevent the car from being stolen but they help in recovery. Physical anti theft devices include vehicle immobilizers. These prevent thieves from hot wiring your car.
There are theft recovery tools like On Star. This can block the car ignition remotely. GPS is used to pinpoint the location.
5. Do not keep your car running
Always switch off the engine when you are not in the car. This is done often when dropping the children at school, or making a hurried purchase or even keeping the interior warm in winters. Many car thefts occur when the owner leaves the car running. This is illegal in many countries.