How Can You Reduce the Risk of Car Theft?

 In Tips

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Car Theft?

It’ll only be a minute. 

That’s what you think as you run in to grab that take-out order — leaving your car engine running and the door unlocked. 

But consider this: Springfield, Missouri ranked #30 for car theft in 2018, out of 383 metro areas throughout the United States. Last year, there were 450.77 car thefts for every 100,000 residents in Springfield.1 

FBI statistics from 2017 show that Missouri ranked #9 in total vehicle thefts, with nearly 20,000 vehicles stolen.2 Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge pickup trucks were the three most popular vehicles among Missouri car thieves.3

Nationally, more than 770,000 vehicles were nabbed. Losses totaled $6 billion, with Honda Civics and Accords clocking in as the most stolen cars in America.2 

How can you protect yourself from becoming one of these statistics? Here are a few smart ways to reduce the risk of car theft.

Practice Good Habits

Car thieves don’t want to waste any time. They look for cars they can break into quickly, without calling attention to themselves. They also seek out vehicles with the most valuable cargo inside.

To protect your own car, make it as inconvenient and unappealing as possible.

  • Close and lock all doors and windows when the car is parked.
  • NEVER leave your keys in the car. Always take them with you.
  • Park in secure areas. A garage is best, especially if it’s highly visible and well lit. Look for parking spaces with surveillance cameras or security professionals nearby. 
  • Don’t leave valuables in the car. This invites smash-and-grab thefts.4

Install Anti-Theft Devices

If you’re looking for an additional layer of protection, invest in one or more anti-theft devices. These products range from technologies that immobilize the vehicle to audible alarm systems

  • A kill switch prevents “hot wiring,” which occurs when a thief tampers with the ignition so they can crank your car without a key. 
  • Locking devices attempt to render the car immobile even if the engine is running. Steering wheel locks make the car impossible or extremely difficult to turn. Tire and rim locks or “the boot,” commonly seen on illegally parked vehicles, may also be used to protect your own car if it stays parked for long periods of time.4  
  • Audible car alarms emit a loud noise that may cause a would-be thief to leave your car alone for fear of being noticed. One possible disadvantage is that car alarms are somewhat easily triggered, leading many people to ignore them.5 

Install Car Tracking Technology

In the event that someone does manage to drive away in your vehicle, the quicker you find it the better.

  • A GPS tracking device pinpoints the location of your car on a map. 
  • You can download a smartphone app to find where the thief has taken it and notify police. 
  • Some models are easy to install yourself while some may require professional installation.4 

You also want to make it hard for a thief to pass off your car as their own. 

  • Get your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into the windows. 
  • Don’t keep your vehicle title in the car. Either take it with you or hide it somewhere other than the glove compartment.5

Finally, invest in a car insurance policy that includes comprehensive coverage. This protects your car from non-accident-related damage, such as theft.

If you have questions about protecting your vehicle, contact The Resource Center to find the policy that’s best for you.








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