Protect Your Car from Theft

Motor vehicles are becoming increasingly harder to steal each year, but statistics indicate more than 700,000 vehicles will be stolen in the United States this year, many of them because the owner left the key in the ignition or left the doors open.

You can greatly increase your protection against auto theft crime by taking the following precautions. Here are some tips to help make your vehicle less desirable to thieves:

  • Lock your car. It is common sense that many thefts happen to unlocked vehicles. The goal is to make your car less desirable than others, and a locked door is a simple deterrent.
  • Never leave your car running unattended and always take your keys with you. Otherwise, you are inviting thieves to drive off with your car.
  • Keep windows closed when you park and leave your vehicle. A slender arm or clothes hanger can reach in through even a narrow opening to unlock the door.
  • Don’t store valuables or expensive electronic devices in plain sight. It’s best to take portable devices with you.
  • Park in a well-lighted, public place when running errands and when at home. A car will, obviously, be safer in a garage than in a driveway or at a curb.
  • Use a visual warning device, such as a blinking light, as a deterrent. An alarm can be effective, but it is even better if the crook doesn’t break into the vehicle in the first place. If your car is not factory-equipped with these features, they can be installed at a local automotive stereo shop.
  • Smart keys or a fuel cut-offs system, aka engine immobilizer, are standard on many late-model cars and can add security. Thieves won’t steal a car they cannot start.
  • For advanced protection, install a GPS or radio frequency tracking system in your vehicle to help police find it.

The top 10 most stolen vehicles for 2019, according to the NICB ranked 1-10 are 2006 Ford F-150, 2000 Honda Civic, 2004 Chevrolet 1500 pickup, 1997 Honda Acord, 2007 Totota Camry, 2015 Nissan Altima, 2018 Toyota Corolla, 2991 Dodge 1500 pickupm 2018 GMC 1500 pickup and 2001 Honda CR-V. Oder cars tend to be more popular than new cars because their parts can be sold for a higher value. Also, anti-theft technologies in new cars have made it more difficult for thieves to steal.

Latest information from NICB