It’s every car owner’s nightmare — you walk out to get in the car for your morning commute, or to make your way home after a long day, and there’s nothing in your parking space. Your car has been stolen and you’re about to embark on a headache-inducing journey to try and get it back.
While local police might be able to bring the vehicle back into your possession, it would be better to keep it from being stolen at all. What can do you to keep your car from getting stolen?
1. Lock. The. Doors.
This should be common sense, but it’s often overlooked. Upwards of 90% of car thefts aren’t achieved because the thieves are tech-savvy or busting windows — they’re possible because the doors are left unlocked.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be away from your car overnight, for a work shift, or for five minutes while you run into the grocery store. Lock the doors and roll up the windows before you walk away. Most car thieves aren’t looking to bust a window or pick a lock — they’re looking for a quick and easy score. Don’t make it easy for them and the chances are high that they’ll leave your car alone.
2. Stay Out of the Dark
If you’re scared to walk to your car once the sun goes down, why would you park there? Avoid dark corners and parking lots, because they’re prime targets for car thieves. Even if there are security cameras, most parking lots aren’t going to invest in night vision cameras, so dark corners and back alleys are the perfect places to steal a car.
You don’t have to make major changes to your parking location. Just choose a spot that’s under a street light or close to a place with a lot of foot traffic. If you don’t want someone to steal your car, don’t make it easy for them.
3. Park It Indoors
Remember how we said that most car thieves are looking for an easy score? Well, most of them aren’t looking to add breaking-and-entering to their rap sheet alongside grand theft auto. Parking your car inside is a great way to discourage casual thieves. Even professionals don’t want the hassle of breaking into your garage to try and make off with your car.
If you haven’t looked at your garage door in a while, it might be time to schedule some garage door maintenance to ensure that everything is in good working order. These moving parts do wear out and break down after a while, so it’s a good idea to inspect them regularly to ensure that it’s not going to leave you stuck indoors when something breaks down.
4. Be Mindful of Your Keys
Many modern cars come equipped with technology that unlocks the doors and starts the engine as soon as you get into proximity, linking with your cell phone so you don’t even need to take the keys out of the car when you park. Don’t get complacent, though. Car thieves are getting more tech-savvy by the year, and are always finding ways to exploit these new technologies to their gain.
Keep your keys on you, even if you don’t necessarily need to. Don’t leave them in the car. Doing so is just asking to have someone take your car for a joyride.
5. Stow Your Valuables
Car thieves might not be interested in taking off in your car. Instead, they might just want to make off with any valuables that you’ve left in plain sight. You might leave your phone, your laptop or your wallet in the car for convenience’s sake.
Don’t, if you can avoid it. If you have to, make sure you’re not leaving them in plain sight. It takes just a few minutes for someone to break your window and make off with your valuables. Don’t make it easy for them.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Take precautions now to prevent someone from stealing your car. Don’t just wait until it happens before you start making changes. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get your car back after someone steals it, so the best course of action is to make sure thieves don’t have the opportunity to make off with your car in the first place.