Today, stealing a car is not as easy as it used to be, thanks to technological advancements that have led to a range of security features and devices to protect our precious vehicles from thieves. Nevertheless, car theft remains common, with the criminals exploiting the loopholes car owners provide with their carelessness. Tech savvy thieves may even be able to override certain security features.
Read on to discover the essential precautions you should follow if you don’t want to be on the receiving end of car theft.
Observe all Safety Measures
Whenever you park the car, it is essential you observe all necessary safety measures and activate all of your vehicle’s security features. Make sure all doors are locked and all windows are fully rolled up. It is also essential to turn the theft alarm on and apply the parking brakes. If your car doesn’t have a theft alarm, you can use a manual steering wheel lock.
Most modern cars have an electronic engine immobilizer feature which will stop it from starting without the right ignition key. If your workplace uses high-level vehicle access control for entry and exit, parking in the designated area will prevent someone from driving away with your car as this is impossible without an official access card. Finally, if your car does get stolen despite your best efforts, be sure to report the theft immediately.
Park at a Visible Distance
Wherever possible, park your car where it is easily visible. Thieves may be attracted to your car if they find it in an isolated area away from your easy reach. On the other hand, they will be reluctant to target a car that is parked in the middle of a busy area frequented by people. Even in a busy parking lot, park your car in well-lit areas that are close to security staff and/or that receive a lot of traffic.
Always, Always Lock your Car
Sometimes, you may stop your car with the key in the ignition and get out for ‘a few minutes’ to quickly grab something. This practice is never advisable as you might take more time than you anticipated to return to your car. Furthermore, a car thieve can make off with your car in just a few seconds. Therefore, it is prudent to always lock the car whenever and wherever you leave it.
Take Care of Valuables
If you have valuable items in your car, make sure they’re safely locked away and not visible to anyone who may peek inside at while you’re away. Sometimes car theft occurs not because the thief wants your car, but be they are interested in what is inside. You should not leave expensive mobile phones, laptops or wallets on the seat or the dashboard of your car.
It is best to take valuables with you when you leave your vehicle and if you must leave any in the car, lock them away safely and out of sight, hidden from prying eyes.
Install a GPS Tracker
If you want advanced tracing of your vehicle, they are now compact GPS tracker devices available which you can easily install in your car. Any time you need to know the location of your car, your GPS tracker will be able to deliver this information. This is invaluable if someone has stolen your car, giving you its current location. Even when you have left your car parked somewhere, the GPS can confirm for you that it is still where it is supposed to be.
Block Keyless Theft
As technological advancements provide enhanced security for vehicles, tech-savvy criminals also use technology for their own ends. They use electronic receivers that can detect the keyless entry device’s signal. Expert car thieves can then transmit the recorded signal from their apparatus to open the car. The car mistakes it for the real key and opens it for the thief. These receivers can work from a distance and so thieves can even use them from the street to detect the device inside your home. To protect against this kind of theft, you should lock your keyless entry device (key fob) in a metal container or enclosed in a special shielding pouch that cuts off all electromagnetic signals.
Car theft has been a prevalent crime for a long time, and is most commonly able to occur due to negligence of car owners. Though there are technical ways to keep your car secure, you can also invite thieves through a lack of caution which starts with simple, seemingly harmless acts such as leaving your car key on your office desk. Furthermore, as more security features are being invented to put an end to this type of crime, thieves also develop new methods to overcome such barriers. From traditional security measures to the most advanced ones, there are many vehicle features and devices to prevent car theft. However, you should still maintain vigilant at all times.