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Car Theft: What You Need to Know and How to Prevent It

Car Theft: What You Need to Know and How to Prevent It

You worked hard to own a car and of course, you won’t like it if someone would just steal it away. You need to protect your auto the right way to prevent potential theft.

The FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2015 stated that there was a 1% rise in car theft all over the nation compared to 2014, despite the overall drop in property crimes in all other categories. Anti-theft technologies have led burglars to become more clever, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In 2016, the NICB found out that thieves use a device about the size of a smartphone that can capture a signal from a nearby key fob to gain entry illegally. The watchdog group tested it on cars at dealerships, auctions, employee vehicles and others, and the results were alarming. In 19 out of 35 tests, cars were opened by the device, and in those instances, they were able to start the vehicle and drive away for 18 times, according to USA Today.

Some thieves are now using key-jamming devices that prevent cars from locking via car remote. Some have figured out how to target on rental car fleets or use fake ownership titles. Even if you have the latest car model with advanced anti-theft functions, you still have to be careful. The classic smashing of side windows is now a worn-out trick; now, you may not even notice that something is missing from your car after a burglar has taken something.

Fight off potential thief with these tips:

Put your car in a garage1. Put your car in a garage.

It might be common sense for some, but we know that not all cars are kept in a garage. Cat thieves are looking for a vulnerable car out on the street. If it is not in the street, it’s less likely to get stolen.

Use your car’s security system and add to it as much as possible2. Use your car’s security system and add to it as much as possible.

If your car is a modern model, it is surely full of great security features. Most likely, it comes with an immobilizer and audible alarm, but they can’t provide sure-fire protection. Check your user manual, be aware of the security features your car has and know how to activate it. Making use of your car security systems to the fullest will help secure your car from being stolen.

However, sometimes a car may lack enough security features. You can install a visible anti-theft device and an alarm system to scare of burglars. If you have enough money to spare, consider installing a GPS tracking signal, especially if you live in areas with high auto theft rates. You can also set up a home CCTV system or a home security lamp in your driveway or garage. These technologies are worth the investment.

Always make sure you have locked your car3. Always make sure you have locked your car.

A central locking system is present in most modern cars, wherein in just one click of a remote, all your doors would be automatically locked. But as stated earlier, smart burglars have found a way to deter this, so keep your ears alert and make sure you heard the clunck or heavy click sound your car makes when it locks. Some have flashing indicators, and look if it flashed, too. Check if it is really locked by pulling the door handle before your leave.

However, if your car has a keyless entry system that unlocks the door automatically whenever you pull the handle, pulling the door may simply open the car. Know how internal locks work with these types of cars so you can check it if it’s locked through the windows.

Do not leave valuables in sight4. Do not leave valuables in sight.

We understand that sometimes, you just have to stop by for a few minutes to drop by your uncle’s to return his jackhammer and thank him for it, so you don’t need to bring your laptop, iPod and wallet as you get off your car. Just don’t make them very visible to people who can take a look inside through your car’s windows. Use your car’s compartments to store them. Also, don’t keep important IDs and documents noticeable to avoid identity theft. Make it look like there’s nothing in your car worth stealing.

Do not leave your car running unattended and unlocked5. Do not leave your car running unattended and unlocked.

Sometimes you will only get off from the car for seconds, like when you dash back to the house to pick up something you forgot. It seems like it’s not worth turning the engine off, but an opportunist thief can take your vehicle away for only a couple of seconds. And please, never keep your driver’s door open as you hurry.

6. Put your keys in a secure place.

Some thieves target car keys for obvious reasons. Make sure you don’t keep it near an open window at home. When out, don’t keep it in an easy-access zipper in your bag or purse, or in a shallow pocket.

7. Know the scope of your car insurance.

Don’t assume that getting a car insurance policy related to theft means you will not have any concerns regarding that area in the future. There will always be situations wherein insurance would not cover for the loss of your car. Be aware of them.