PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM CAR THEFT
As of 2017, the FBI reported about $6 billion was lost due to car theft in the United States, with an average dollar loss of $7,708. It’s been recorded that one motor vehicle theft was reported every 40.9 seconds in the United States in 2017. Even if you think you’re not at risk, it’s important to know the facts when it comes to car crimes. Major holidays such as New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve, and Memorial Day have been known to experience an increase in auto theft crimes compared to the rest of the year. Although car theft rates have been slowly declining in recent years, the more educated you are, the more you can prepare in case you are a target!
HOW TO PREVENT CAR BREAK-INS AND THEFT
Lock Your Doors – Locking your car any time you’re not occupying it helps. While this may seem like a no brainer, it can often be the one thing that can determine whether or not someone will try to go through your car. Thieves will often just pull on handles on car doors until they find one that is unlocked. If this happens, valuables left in your car will most likely be stolen. Sometimes, your entire car will be stolen!
Install a Car Alarm – If your car becomes an unfortunate victim to a break -n, one of the best safeguards you can have in place is a loud and reliable car alarm system. An anti-theft system, whether it be a traditional car alarm, steering wheel lock, a window alarm, or ignition cut-off system, will ultimately cause the thief to work harder or it may deter them from targeting your car altogether. After all, no thief wants to risk being caught!
Close Your Windows – Cracked windows typically = an unlocked car. It may make sense to crack your windows in the summer, especially when there’s a heatwave, but leaving the car window open even an inch can allow thieves to shake the window off the track and open the door. Cracked windows allow access for hooks and fingers to manipulate the glass or locks on your car. If you really need to crack a window, make sure it’s open less than half an inch! If you can fit your finger, it’s too big.
Don’t Leave Your Car Running – Whether you’re pre-heating your car if you live in a colder climate area, or simply running in and out of a convenience store, leaving an unattended car running makes it easy for a thief to hop in your car and drive away. 30 states and counting have passed laws that make it illegal to leave your car running while unattended to help prevent your car from being stolen.
Hide Your Valuables – This one should be a no brainer. From laptops to cash, credit cards, expensive jewelry or any other personal belongings of value should always be taken with you once you exit your vehicle. If you must store valuables in your car, however, take precautionary steps to make sure they’re hidden from plain sight, or locked in your trunk prior to reaching your destination. Thieves have been known to be on the lookout for people storing valuables in their trunk after they arrive at their destination, which entices them to break into your trunk.
Park in Well-Lit Areas – If you’re leaving the house or work after the sun has set, try to park in a spot underneath a streetlight or parking lot light. Be sure to choose a parking spot that is in a well lit and well-trafficked area. Thieves are typically less likely to attempt a car break-in with a spotlight or potential audience around them.
Make sure you take extra caution when parking and driving around your city. Keep your doors locked, your windows closed, and out of popular areas! In the case you find yourself in a different scenario, such as locking yourself out of your car, please give The Flying Locksmiths a call at 1-800-649-5397. With locations throughout the United States, we can perform emergency auto lockouts in almost any area!