Minimizing Car Theft
The risk of car theft is a reality that all car owners face.
While some may assume that only luxury vehicles are targeted by thieves, the truth is that even affordable models fall prey to them as well. This can be seen clearly from the occasional newspaper articles, or even from stories we hear from friends and family.
Although it is quite difficult to completely guarantee the safety of our cars, what we can do as responsible car owners is to reduce the risk of them getting stolen. What this basically means is that we can take steps to make it just a little bit more difficult for our cars to get stolen by thieves. This can be done in a number of ways:
This is a common piece of advice for all drivers: park wisely. Typically, we are told to avoid parking in dark or secluded parking spots away from crowds because it is safer for us as individuals; it reduces the risk of us getting robbed, for instance. This piece of advice, however, also helps us to keep our vehicle safer.
By parking in well-lit, crowded areas with lots of foot traffic, we reduce the risk of our cars getting stolen simply because it acts as a deterrent; thieves are less likely to target a vehicle in a location where they could get caught.
Secure your vehicle
Yet, parking our cars in safe locations is only one piece to the puzzle. We must also ensure that our vehicles are secured by keeping them locked and activating the alarm system. This is particularly true when we are at home with our cars parked inside the compound of our house or right outside.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that it is safe to leave their cars unlocked when parked at home. Others may also keep their car alarms deactivated when at home, for fear that it will go off and wake up everyone in the neighbourhood. While this might be trueto a certain extent, it unfortunately makes it much easier for someone to steal the car right out of your front porch in the middle of the night.
It takes very little effort to ensure that cars are locked with the remote systems we have nowadays, so why not make full use of it?
Furthermore, securing your vehicle also means securing the key fobs used to access it. Be sure to keep your key fob and any spares or copies in safe locations, and never keep a spare key hidden on the body of your car (like secretly taped in the wheel well, for instance).
Hide any valuables
While the car may be the primary target, other valuables may act as further incentive to someone looking to steal a car. For this reason, you should not keep any valuables in your car such as bags, phones, digital devices, or anything that you would hate to lose.
If, however, you do need to leave an item like a bag in your car while it is parked, be sure to keep it out of sight. Bags can neatly fit under the front seats of a car or better yet, leave it in the trunk of the car where absolutely no one will be able to see it.
Last but not least, learn to leverage technology. Low-tech solutions like car steering locks and car alarm systems are great at deterring theft before the fact, but there are technologies designed to try and stop thefts after they have happened.
These include immobilizer and GPS technologies that can be fitted into your valuable car, both of which serve the same purpose: to ensure that the thieves can’t get too far with your car, so the police are able to track down your vehicle and recover it. Immobilizers work by shutting off the engine completely, while GPS devices allow for you to track the exact location of your car wherever it may be.
While all of these steps will never completely guarantee the safety of your car, what they can do is to reduce the risk of it happening by making your car difficult to steal overall. In doing so, it should also provide you with enough peace of mind to know that you are taking all the necessary preventive steps a responsible car owner should be taking.