When you hear about someone having their car stolen, it is easy to feel like that kind of thing would never happen to yourself. Unfortunately, the reality is that car theft is a relatively common occurrence with one car being reported stolen, on average, roughly every 49 seconds. Sadly, less than half of those will be recovered, so it is important to follow a few preventative procedures. While there is no one guaranteed equations to preventing any kind of crime, deterring predators from attempting to steal, rob, or damage your vehicle is your best bet to avoid the hassle and headache. Here are a few tips to help reduce the odds of your vehicle being stolen.
Lock Your Doors
Car thieves, like most criminals, are opportunists. They will are most likely to target the easiest vehicle they find. Because of this, being sure to always lock your doors and have the windows rolled up will already help in fending off thieves.
Do Not Leave Your Car Running
Out of the 500,000 vehicles that are stolen every year, almost half of those are due to leaving a running vehicle unattended. Whether you are hoping to warm up your car on a cold morning or just want to pop into a convenience store real quick, leaving your engine running unattended is a bad idea as it creates the easiest possible scenario for a thief. In addition to it being a generally unwise decision, leaving a running vehicle unattended is actually illegal in most states, including here in Texas. The law was put in place specifically to reduce the amount of car thefts.
Be Extra Careful at Night
Most car thefts happen at night time, so if you are out and about, be aware of your surroundings. Be intentional about parking in well lit areas like under a street light. If you are going somewhere unfamiliar, do a little recon to get a feel for the crime levels to help make your choices for the evening.
It is best to never leave anything valuable in your car at all if you can avoid it. In addition to car thieves, this also increases the odds of someone targeting your belongings which often results in a broken window for you to have to deal with on top of your stolen property. When it comes to your vehicle being stolen, if a thief has the option between an empty car and a car with a laptop, a purse, or anything else, they will probably target the later. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle for the evening, be sure to keep them completely out of sight as to not entice potential thieves.
Don’t be Distracted
It is super easy to exit your vehicle and pull out your phone to scroll through social media, answer a text, or call the person you might be meeting, but avoid doing this. When you park your vehicle, especially if it is in a garage or lot, be hyper aware of your surroundings. If you notice someone lingering, consider staying in your vehicle or moving it somewhere else. If you happen to witness a carjacker in action, whether it is your car or not, do not confront them. Things can be replaced, but you cannot.