There are statistics that say a car
is stolen every 27 seconds and that it takes a thief as little as a
minute to complete the job. If you park your car on the street,
especially overnight, these statistics may make you nervous, but it
is possible to protect your car. A little bit of security goes a
long way to deter a thief. Check out these tips to keep your car
If you do not have an automatic
alarm system, remember to turn on the alarm when you leave your
car. If you are really concerned about your parking situation,
consider getting an alarm system that will contact police when the
alarm is activated, or even one that deactivates the car's ignition
A sticker from an alarm company or a
flashing alarm sensor light, both of which may be real or not, will
tell a thief to move along.
A thief is always looking for the
easiest option and the simplest deterrent is to lock your car
doors. Remember to close your windows as well. Don't even leave
them open a crack.
If possible park underneath a street
light, next to a bright store light, or near a 24-hour store if you
are parking overnight. It is harder for a thief to hide his
activities in a well-lit area. There are also likely to be more
pedestrians and this will also deter thieves.
If a thief can't move your steering
wheel, he can't steal your car. If someone is determined, they will
steal your car, but a thief wants an easy steal and a steering
wheel lock sends them to another car.
- Don't Leave Valuables in the Car
This is an easy one. Do not tempt a
thief by leaving your valuables visible in your car. Put things in
your trunk, in the glove compartment or under the seat. If your
stereo has a removable face plate, take it with you. Putting a
jacket over your valuables isn't a great tactic either. Thieves
will just wonder what's under there.
- Engage Your Emergency Brake
You may only use your emergency
brake while parking on a hill but it is also a useful deterrent to
thieves. Thieves may try to quietly roll your car into a more
sheltered area before attempting to steal it or to begin removing
parts. An emergency brake prevents them from rolling it away.
If possible, rent a parking spot off
the street. Your car is less likely to be stolen or broken
A well-maintained car suggests that
you are more likely to have an alarm or a GPS tracking system. This
might not be true, but once again, a thief is making a quick
decision about which car to target and this is one more way to send
them on their way.
A low percentage of people can drive
a car with a manual transmission, a stick shift. If a thief can't
drive your car, chances are they won't take it.
Some people keep a spare key on the
body of their car, often in the wheel rim. DO NOT do this. It may
be convenient but it's also an open invitation to a thief. A better
solution is to leave a spare key with a friend or relative who can
bring it to you, or to use a service such as an automobile
association who can help you break into your car if necessary.