We list some simple and basic car theft prevention tips to minimise your chances of being a victim of car theft.
20 Car Theft Prevention Tips
More often than not common sense is your best defense and more often than not, we tend to overlook the most basic things and become a victim of auto theft. In India, a vehicle is stolen on an average of every 34 minutes. Not only does auto theft cost the victim time and money, but also it creates potential danger for the society as a whole. As many a times, the same stolen vehicles are used to commit other crimes and are often sold to innocent and unsuspecting customers.
Below is the list of 20 basic tips you must keep in mind, as a responsible car owner and driver to minimise your chances of being a victim of auto theft.
1. One of the most basic tip is to make sure you lock your vehicle, close all the windows and sun roof and don’t forget to take your keys.
2. Never hide your duplicate set of keys in your car.
3. Don’t leave valuables, cellphones, iPods, laptops etc. in the plain view.
4. Don’t leave important documents such as passports, credit cards, bank statements, bill or any other documents that has your personal information on it in the car. Thieves can use this information against you to access banks and card accounts.
5. Never leave the car registration papers inside the car. If in case, your car gets stolen, it will make it easier for the thief to dispose off your vehicle. Keep license and registration papers on you all the time.
6. Park in well-lit areas with plenty of pedestrian traffic, or when possible in attendant lots.
7. In case of valet parking, make sure you leave only the ignition and door key with the valet.
8. Never leave your vehicle running unattended outside ATM’s or grocery stores. Take your time to park and securely lock your car and then run your respective errands.
9. Always engage the handbrake or leave your car in gear to protect the vehicle from theft by towing. Also, turn the wheels towards the curb. This makes towing your vehicle more difficult.
10. If you have a secure garage, always use it. When parked in a garage, lock the garage securely as well as your car and close all windows.
11. Remove the electronic ignition fuse, coil wire, rotor, distributor or otherwise disable your vehicle if you are leaving it unattended for an extended period.
12. Maximum number of cars that are stolen are older. Probably, because owners with older cars become complacent. But remember older vehicles will always remain more in demand for parts. So, don’t lose your edge.
13. Drop your business card or address label or some other trace of information in your vehicle door. This will identify you and aid the cops in their investigation in case of car theft.
14. If you have installed an anti-theft alarm system in your car, make sure to engage the device after parking.
15. In addition to steering wheel locks that prevent the steering wheel from turning, there is also an anti-theft device called the floorboard locks, which disable brake and accelerator pedals.
16. You can also get the gearshift lock installed in the car that disables shifting of transmission.
17. Similarly, there are also tyre locks available in the market, which prevent the vehicle from moving.
18. Hood locks prevent thieves from gaining access to your car security system and battery.
19. Always stay alert as you approach your vehicle. Check around, under and inside your vehicle before getting in your vehicle. Immediately, leave the scene if you have any suspicion and come back with help. If confronted by a car jacker, avoid verbal or physical confrontation as far as possible.
20. Be wary of people coming close to your car windows, asking for directions or handing out fliers.
Auto theft prevention, like all crime prevention, involves limiting the criminal’s ability and/or an opportunity to commit the crime. It generally takes a mere few seconds to secure your valuables, but it will take only a few seconds more for a thief to break in and steal valuables left in plain sight. With very little time and effort you can make a huge difference in your vulnerability to auto-burglary.