Your vehicle is your connection to the world around you and an integral part of your life. To help keep your ride safe from thieves, follow the basic security guidelines below and adopt a safety-conscious mindset.
Utilizing Security Measures
To begin, always roll up the windows and lock the doors as you exit the vehicle. Door locks are the first and only line of physical defense against cabin intrusion for many vehicles, and an open window offers a convenient bypass for the locks. If you don’t have a car alarm, look into installing one. Although most of your interactions with the wailing siren will be uneventful, that belies the benefit of the incidents in which it sends a would-be thief running for the hills. For more physical security, consider purchasing a wheel or brake lock to inhibit unwelcome drivers from maneuvering around.
Technological advancements can also improve your car’s overall security. GPS tracking is one of the few tools that has a chance of locating a stolen car. With a small device tucked into a clandestine location, your car will report back to you whenever you use the tracking program, which could be inside your phone for many models. There’s no harm in using it to find your ride in a broad parking lot, either! Some engines can be equipped with kill switches that disable the engine based on various conditions; some will even let you push the button yourself if you suspect an incident that avoided the normal detection methods.
Don’t Make It Easy
When targeting automobiles, most thieves are looking for quick opportunities to dart into the cabin, grab something valuable, and get away before someone notices. You can take advantage of their tendency to avoid the spotlight to minimize your chances of being a victim.
Avoid parking in alleyways, dark and empty parking lots, or other spaces that offer poor surrounding visibility. As you move away from concentrations of people and surveillance, thieves will have more freedom to spend time assessing the worth of your vehicle and its contents. If it’s night time, consider the extra cover granted by darkness when assessing the safety of your parking spot.
If possible, take all of your valuables out of your car with you. If you are unable to do so, relocate the items to a less visible location. This includes removing the charging cable from your electronic devices, even if they could use some extra time spent charging. High-end stereo systems should have covers for the control panel and the speakers shouldn’t be readily visible. Having your car stolen is certainly the primary fear of most drivers, but the average thief is hunting for the quick grab that can make them a profit without the overhead of a chop shop.
Respond to Incidents Rapidly
Even if you take every possible precaution, you may inevitably be the victim of an incident of theft from your car. To maximize the chances of recovering the value of the lost property, whether through police action or an insurance claim, file an incident report detailing the damages as quickly as possible. With luck or a good insurance company, you won’t suffer the pain of the loss for long.