Car thieves have existed since the invention of automobiles. Today’s vehicular villains come in all shapes and sizes but can be roughly organized into two categories: the ones who want your car and the ones who want the stuff inside it. Either way, you come out losing. Here’s some excellent advice for foiling the felons who want to rip off your ride – or its contents…
Automobiles have been around since the early 1800’s so it’s no surprise that car thieves have got their art down to a science. From the moment your car is compromised, there’s a clock ticking in the thief’s head. The good ones give themselves 20 seconds, working under the hypothetical assumption that someone’s called the police the second they’ve committed the act. Because the average response-time for law enforcement is 1 minute, this gives them ample time to smash, grab and go before a uniform gets anywhere near them. Car thievery is an industry of opportunity. That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant!
In most scenarios, parking options are myriad but where you leave your car has a huge effect on your chances of running into foul play. Wherever you pull the e-brake, an ideal parking space is one that’s exposed to lots of traffic (vehicular or otherwise). The more people present, the more unlikely that a thief is going to risk their 20 second attempt on your ride.
Pragmatists will suggest that since break-ins are inevitable in rougher neighbourhoods, it makes the most sense to leave your car doors open (no point getting your window smashed in over some ashtray change). Presuming however, that you’re either not a defeatist or you’ve found somewhere less ominous to park, definitely lock your doors and windows! If thieves really want something in your car, they’re going to break your window anyway but anything you can do to eat into that precious 20 seconds is going to be a deterrent.
It’s not about getting the right car alarm – it’s about giving the impression that you did. In the risk-adverse, high-attrition game of car thievery/burglary, thieves won’t even give a second glance at vehicles with flashing red lights in the dashboard. From their point of view, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, there’s no point in finding out whether or not it’s actually a duck. Most automotive stores carry faux alarms that stick to the dash with Velcro for about the cost of a pine tree air freshener. Make the investment!
Keeping that 20-second window in mind, most car thieves won’t break into a car just to pop the trunk. Their time is much better spent rifling through the glove compartment, seats and console. If you absolutely must leave valuables in your vehicle, the best chance they have of being there when you return is if you deposit them in the trunk. This doesn’t just apply to larger items like suitcases and sports bags, either; CDs, GPSs and other electronics are safer here, too.
On the subject of trunks, they’re not always the location of spare tires. If your spare lives elsewhere, make sure that it’s visibly chained! Just like the faux car alarm, the mere visual is often enough to dissuade a thief – and they will need dissuading. Tires are easy to move, and have an excellent resale value.
Like any felon, car thieves absolutely hate light. Make sure that you install motion sensor lights on the exterior of your home and garage. And make sure that they’re well out of reach. If they’re not, there’s nothing stopping a thief from unscrewing the bulb before their clock starts ticking.
Employ these simple strategies and you’ll better the chances of keeping your car (and everything that’s in it) safe.