29 Apr Keep Your Vehicle Safe – Anti-Theft Tips and Tricks
Every 43 seconds a car in the U.S.is stolen according to recent FBI crime statistics,. While you can’t guarantee yours won’t be one of them, there are a number of things you can do to cut the odds down considerably. Fortunately, many of them aren’t that expensive, either.
Car thieves target vehicles that are easy to steal and cars that most easily parted out and sold. Older Honda Civics and Accords are the most stolen vehicles, accounting for nearly 100,000 thefts in 2013, followed by popular pickups like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Siverado. Why? Because they’re relatively easy to steal and are among the best-selling vehicles, making a market for black market parts lucrative.
So how do you make sure your car’s still in the lot when you return from an evening at the movies or an afternoon shopping at the mall? The National Insurance Crime Bureau has some suggestions for what they call a layered approach based on risk and cost.
Ultimately, the most effective anti-theft system is free and came as standard equipment when you were born—your brain. Use it. Never leave your car running or unlocked. Roll up your windows and close your sunroof when you park your car. Don’t leave your leather jacket or laptop on the front passenger seat in view to tempt thieves. Don’t park in dark or secluded areas.
Next, choose an anti-theft device that’s appropriate to your situation based on your vehicle, where you park it and your budget. Simple steering wheel locks like The Club are effective and cheap. They’re highly visible and take some time to defeat, making your car unattractive to all but the most determined thieves.
An ignition kill switch or fuel cutoff device won’t stop a break-in but will make it harder for a thief to start your car to drive it away. It’s essential that they are installed so that they’re hidden from view as they can be defeated relatively easily. Adding a hook lock will make it even harder for the crook to pop your hood to find it. You can even get a wheel lock similar to the “Denver boot” used by authorities if you don’t mind the hassle installing it every time you park.
Car alarms are so common that hearing one go off doesn’t raise that much suspicion anymore, but they’re quite effective in alerting people that something might be wrong. If you park where you can react to it quickly, an alarm can be a good choice.
One a vehicle is stolen, the chances of recovering it and catching the thieves go up dramatically if a GPS-enabled device like LoJack or OnStar is installed. And etching your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on major parts makes them less attractive to chop shops.
Think your wireless fob or lockout system is safe? Think again. Sophisticated thieves have developed ways to break your electronic codes in ways similar to those used by hackers to break into business computer servers. While such technology and effort only makes sense for stealing high-priced vehicles, it nonetheless goes to prove that electronic anti-theft measures aren’t invulnerable to determined criminals.
Even the most sophisticated anti-theft devices won’t stop a smash-and-grab thief. They don’t want your car, they want your stuff or, as is the practice, they’re stealing the car as the entry fee to a gang. Smash-and-grab artists are opportunists—they see something they want, they break a window and take it. It doesn’t matter if your car alarm goes off—they’ll be halfway down the block before anyone notices. Avoid theft and damage by keeping temptation away. Take valuables with you when you leave the car. Hide things in your glove box or console, or better yet, in your trunk. Don’t leave anything in view. Thieves have been known to break in just to steal mail or even a pack of cigarettes.
Bottom line: thieves target vehicles that are vulnerable and that make them a quick buck. The better your security measures, the less appealing your car will be. You may even save money on your car insurance if you report to your insurance agent the mechanisms you’ve installed in your car to protect from theft.
A good vehicle security system is an investment in your safety and peace of mind. The pros at Alexius Security can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Once it’s installed, we can help you keep it properly maintained and assist you in changing combinations or keys and open it for you if you get locked out.
Our services go beyond simply working on locks. We can advise you about the best systems for your convenience and recommend security measures for all of your property, so give us a call at 303.617.3717 or use our online contact form for prompt, professional attention to your security needs.