Did you know the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the most common months for auto theft are July and August? And that only 52 percent of stolen vehicles are ever recovered?
Statistics like these underscore the need to learn a few preventive tips. Fortunately, there are several very simple things you can do when it comes to how to prevent auto theft. (It’s estimated that 40 to 50 percent of all vehicles thefts are due to driver errors like leaving keys in an unlocked car.)
Watch the video above to learn more about the issue. Also check out these tips:
- Always take your keys with you. Never leave them in or on your vehicle.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
- Park in well-lit areas. If possible, park in a garage.
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle. If you must leave them in your car, stash them somewhere out of sight like your trunk or the glove compartment.
- Never leave the area while your vehicle is running.
- Consider getting a VIN etching. A VIN is a unique code used by the automobile industry to identify your vehicle. A permanent etching of the VIN on glass windows and windshields makes it harder for thieves to steal and resell your car (or its parts). An etching is simple, fast and safe–and it won’t ruin the look of your car.
Also keep in mind that thieves want more than just your car.They want whatever sells, and that can be just about anything in or attached to your car. Some of the most popular parts or items are engines, transmissions, air bags, radios, GPS units, iPods, laptops and purses.
Anti-theft devices and systems
You can add another layer of protection by investing in an anti-theft system or device. They can make your car more difficult to steal–and, if it is stolen, make it easier to trace and recover. Here are a few kinds to consider:
- Audible and visible devices: Audible devices deter theft by emitting sound (such as a horn alarm) when someone tries to enter your vehicle. Visible devices display a visual warning to a potential thief such as theft-deterrent decals, flashing lights and window etchings.
- Immobilizing-type devices: Immobilizing-type devices are electronic devices that prevent thieves from bypassing your vehicle’s ignition system and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices incorporate computer chips in the ignition key while others disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine.
- Vehicle recovery systems: Some vehicle manufacturers are installing devices that use electronic transmission technology that help recover your car in the event it’s stolen.
Remember that the optional comprehensive insurance coverage on your auto can help if your car is ever stolen.