I live in Detroit: one of the cities with the highest rates of auto theft in the nation. Here are some tips from an expert on how to avoid getting your car (or any of the contents of your car) stolen.
Be a Smart Parker
Remember to always park your car in well-light areas. Having your car in a high traffic area is also a good idea. You might even consider getting assigned parking at a lot with an attendant if you are concerned about your car.
Car Alarm Fallacies
Car alarms might sound like a great safety feature, but they might just be one more of the bells and whistles. You can put a sticker on your car that says that it has a car alarm without actually including the car alarm. You will save money this way. You will also save yourself (and others) headaches when people accidentally brush against your car.
Lock it Up
Almost half of all car thefts are performed when an owner leaves the car unlocked. This could mean that they forget to lock their car once, or it could also mean that they leave their car running while they just run in to do an errand. Turn your car off, take your keys, and lock your car whenever you leave it. It is also better for the environment if you turn your car off instead of idling it. You should also consider locking your garage door if you are using a garage. This brings me to another point: always park in a garage when possible.
Make it Less Attractive
Take away all of your belongings with you when you leave your car. This means that you should move any bags to the trunk, and make sure that there are no valuable visible from outside the car. If you can remove your car stereo, place it in the glove compartment or a similar out-of-sight place. Even something that seems as harmless as a glasses case could cause a thief to choose your car instead of another car, so be cautious when you leave your car.
Invest in some Safety
Having a steering wheel lock (such as the club) might not make it that much more difficult for a thief to steal your car, but it might also make them think twice. You don’t even have to lock your steering wheel lock if you find it too cumbersome to use.
Vehicle Identification Numbers are numbers that are etched into cars at various places, including on the windows and major parts. Thieves will be know where to look for vehicle identification numbers, and might avoid stealing a car with VIN etching because the parts will be harder to use, and the car will be easier for police to trace.
Ignition-kill switches and fuel-kill switches are other anti-theft devices that you can consider for you car.
Sometimes getting anti-theft devices can lower your insurance premiums, and so will be a good investment for the future. You might even end up saving money and gaining a peace of mind with them!
Think of the tow-away
Sometimes cars are not stolen by hotwiring, but rather, by being towed away. If you park with your tires facing the curb, it will make it more difficult for a thief to tow your car away. Using your emergency brake will also prevent being towed.
Car theft is not a pretty thought. Cars are large investments and you want to protect your investment. Thinking ahead can prevent some unpleasant reactions.