Having things stolen can feel like a huge violation. Our belongings are personal, and often hard-earned. When they disappear, it can be challenging, especially with something as essential and large as a car. While Houston is a pretty great place to live, being a big city, it has its own set of issues. One of those issues is car theft. In the past decade, there have been news stories about car theft rings, car hackers and more. It leaves Houston car owners wondering, how do I prevent my car from getting stolen? Read on to get some tips.
Know the Top Stolen Vehicles in Houston
A good start to prevention is to know what’s being stolen. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to figure out since Houston’s ABC 13 released a story about it back in April. In general, if you have a truck—particularly a Ford, Chevy, GMC or Dodge—you’ll want to be careful. However, in the month of March, 2017, out of the over 600 vehicles stolen, there were also a lot of:
- Chevy cars
- Honda cars
- Toyota cars
- Nissan cars
- Toyota trucks
Tips to Prevent Car Theft
If you have a high-risk vehicle (or even if you don’t), here are some preventative measures you can take to avoid having your car stolen:
- Put it in the garage – Many people have garages, and they are full of stuff, not vehicles. If you have a garage, it may be time to clean it so you can store your car, truck or SUV in its rightful space. If you don’t have a garage, you may want to consider investing in one. You can rent garages, or have them built. Not only is a garage good for protecting your vehicle from theft, but it can increase your ride’s lifespan by protecting it from the elements. Weather can wear a car down quickly.
- Don’t leave valuables where they can be seen – The first attractor in vehicle theft is something inside that someone may want. Never leave your wallet, purse, phone, computer, cash or anything else of value where people can see it.
- Know the area – There’s something to be said about “dangerous” areas. If an area has a reputation of being less than safe, chances are it’s not a good place to park your car—especially if you want to reduce the chance of it getting stolen. Make sure to park in neighborhoods where a car being stolen would be noticed and reported.
- Take care of your car – Believe it or not, statistics show that thieves are deterred by well-maintained vehicles. The thought is that if an owner cares enough to keep things nice, they probably care enough to install devices that prevent it from getting stolen.
- Get an alarm (or just the sticker) – Car alarms don’t have to cost a fortune, and they can come in handy. Compare after-market car alarms before you buy. If you can’t afford a car alarm right now, at least get a sticker. It may make a difference.
- Lock your doors – One of the biggest temptations for a car thief is an unlocked vehicle. Each time you leave your car behind, make sure to lock it first. It’s an easy and simple way to reduce the chance of auto theft.
- Upgrade your car – If it’s time to replace your vehicle, then the good news is it may help prevent theft. Older cars are at higher risk of being stolen. A simple and fun preventative measure is to get a newer ride.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
One last thing to do to make sure you’ll be okay should theft occur is to check your insurance coverage. If you end up being a Houston car theft statistic, you want to have a plan that ensures your ride will be replaced.
Keeping your car safer is as simple as following a few of these tips. There's no sense in tempting fate. Instead, implement some new habits, and it will go a long way in preventing car theft.