Most cars are taken by amateurs who can be stopped. You can increase your protection against this type of crime by taking the following sensible precautions.
- An unlocked car is an open invitation to a car thief - lock your car and take the keys with you.
- NEVER hide a second key in or on your vehicle.
- Close all windows - professional thieves have tools that unlock cars through the smallest openings.
- When you park your car, remove all valuable possessions (purse, CDs, IPods, Cell phones, cameras, personal documents, etc) from range of view. If you are unable to take your valuables with you, lock the valuables in the trunk.
- Lock your car even if you are going to make a quick stop at an ATM, gas station, or store.
- Don't leave your car in an unattended public parking lot for an extended period of time. A car is five times more likely to be stolen from an unattended lot than from the street or attended lot.
- If possible, park your car where you do not have to leave your keys. Only leave the ignition key if you have to leave the keys.
- Never attach a tag with your name and address on it.
- Park in well-lit areas with plenty of pedestrian traffic.
- Turn your wheels sharply toward the curb. This will make it more difficult for thieves to tow your car.
- Keep your registration and proof of insurance in your wallet, not in the car.
- When buying a car, check out the anti-theft options, such as remote keyless entry (smartkeys), engine immobilizers, GPS vehicle tracking, ONStar, and others.
- Consider the purchase and installation of after-market security devices such as Lo-Jack, hood locks, and engine immobilizers.
- NEVER leave your car running and unattended to warm it up in the morning.
For more information on Auto Theft Protection, please visit 50 Tips for Auto Theft Protection.