Keeping a Vehicle Safe from Theft
Going out to start a vehicle or walking out of a store only to discover it missing is heart-wrenching. While there are specific makes and models of vehicles that are stolen most often, in this day and age, virtually everyone is at risk.
The top 10 vehicles stolen include:
- Chevy Full-Size Pickup Truck
- Dodge Caravan
- Dodge Full-Size Pickup Truck
- Ford Full-Size Pickup Truck
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
An automobile can be stolen in under 60 seconds, with the majority never recovered. Annually, over 1 million vehicles are stolen in the U.S., which equates to 1 every 27 seconds. It is imperative that you take precautionary measures to avoid becoming a victim, especially when driving one of the top 10 stolen automobiles.
Key Safety Measures
Some key suggestions for keeping a vehicle safe are nothing more than common sense, while others are a little more innovative and resourceful.
- Good Lighting – Always park in an area with good lighting, whether on the street or in a garage.
- Parking Garage Exits – Thieves who steal automobiles from parking garages want to make a quick getaway, so they usually take vehicles closest to the exit. To reduce the risk of a vehicle being stolen, park far from the exit.
- Monitored Lots – Parking in a monitored lot is worth the added expense.
- Lock Doors – You should always lock doors, since an unlocked door is an invitation for a thief to take anything inside, not to mention the vehicle itself. Even when parking in the driveway or running into a store for five minutes, always lock your doors.
- Alarm System – An alarm system will also keep a vehicle safe from theft. The cost to have a system installed will depend on the type. Less expensive systems will emit a blaring siren, whereas more costly alarms are designed to summon law enforcement. However, a system capable of deactivating the ignition system is the best.
- Spare Keys – People make the mistake of leaving a spare key in what they perceive to be a safe place, like the glove compartment, ashtray, under the visor, or in a magnetic box behind the wheel well. Criminals know all the best hiding places, so at no time should a spare key be anywhere near a vehicle.
- Valuables – Valuables left in plain sight create a crime of opportunity for a thief to steal personal belongings as well as the vehicle. While the trunk is safer, this too can be accessed relatively easily.
- Documentation – Never leave important documentation in the vehicle. Things like the car title, registration, and insurance information make it easier for a thief to make a clean getaway.