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Grand Theft Auto: 4 Tips to Keeping Possession of Your Ride

Posted by Cory Lowe - 14 October, 2014

preventing auto theftEvery driver dreads the possibility of walking to where they parked their car to discover it has been stolen. For a moment, most auto theft victims will try to convince themselves that they were mistake about the where the car was parked, or that it had been towed and will be safely behind the gates of impound lot instead of in the possession of a car thief. There are steps you can take to protect your car from auto theft, by making your car more difficult to steal and seem less alluring to potential thieves.

1) Lock Your Car

Believe it or not, statistics show that more than half of the cars stolen were left unlocked by the owner. There is never a good reason to park your car and walk away from it having left it unlocked, even if you’re only planning on being away from your vehicle for mere minutes. Close all the windows, and the sunroof, and make sure to activate the anti-theft alarm that is built into most late model used and new vehicle. Additionally, never leave your car running if you are going to be out of and away from it for any period of time, more than a second or two. Car thieves work quickly and are on the lookout for unlocked cars that are easier to steal. Therefore, the first step in auto theft protection is remembering to lock your car every single time you are leaving it unattended.

2) Don’t Keep Extra Keys

An extra set of keys left in your car can only serve to make your vehicle easier to start up and drive away for someone looking to steal it. You may think a set of keys tucked under your front seat, in the glove compartment, or center console are of no consequence because a thief cannot see them from outside of the car. However, if the thief breaks into your car looking to steal something else and happens to find your keys, this may cause the theif to steal your car...and very quickly too.

3) Hide or Remove Your Valuables

Visible valuables give car thieves a reason to break into your car and probably drive off with it along with your possessions. Smart phones, stereo head units, other electronics or even clothing should be stored out of sight or taken with you when you leave your parked car. Any valuables you absolutely have to leave in your car should have the Vehicle Identification Number, of VIN, permanently etched into the surface so it can be traced if sold or pawned. Even if your car is still there when you return, you are more likely to come back to a broken window and a ransacked car if you leave a valuable possession somewhere in your vehicle that is visible to thieves.

4) Park Smart

Another way to protect yourself from auto theft is to park wisely when leaving your car unattended, both when out and at home. Smart parking begins with location. At night, look for a parking spot that is well lit. Light draws attention to suspicious activity, while a dark parking area can help hide what a thief is doing to get into and away with your car. If you have access to a locked garage when you park your car overnight, use it. Only a dedicated, and reckless, car thief will go through the trouble of breaking into a building and then a car in order to steal it. Lastly, try to park your car toward the curb with the wheels angled and parking break engaged. This setup will help thwart the efforts of car thieves who use a tow truck to quickly get your car away from the scene.

The best way to protect yourself from auto theft is to make your car unattractive to thieves. Most car thieves look for cars that are fast and easy to break into, or have an alluring valuable item in plain sight inside the vehicle. Park wisely and make sure your car, and the valuables inside of it, are safely locked until your return.

* Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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