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Protecting Your Vehicles from Thieves

Updated August 12, 2014

Every driver can appreciate the importance of keeping their vehicle secure from thieves – but how best to go about this? It’s well documented that most car thefts are opportunistic, which means that even cheaper cars aren’t safe on the streets. Thus, it’s important to take steps to ensure that your car doesn’t become an easy target for thieves.

A few obvious points

It might sound like obvious advice, but you should never leave your car unlocked. Over 50% of car thefts involve unlocked cars. Even if you’re just popping in for five minutes; it only takes seconds to steal a car. Also, never leave your car unattended with the ignition running; ATMs, petrol stations and convenience stores are all very common places for car thefts, and lots of thieves ‘stake out’ such locations in the hopes of spotting someone who’s left their car unattended. Don’t leave yourself open to such an easy theft.

How to park

Now that the basics are out of the way, parking itself should be taken into heavy consideration. Putting a little more thought into how and where you park can really make a difference; car thieves will look for ‘easy’ jobs, and won’t bother with your car if it’s bound to cause them trouble.

Park in well-lit areas wherever possible, even if it means parking slightly further away from your destination. If your cars parked somewhere lit, it is far less likely to be the target of thieves. If you can, parking in a staffed and monitored car park is a good idea; if you’ve got a garage at home, be sure to always park your car in the garage and keep it locked overnight. Doing so will vastly decrease your chances of becoming a victim of car theft.

Many people aren’t aware that a lot of thieves actually use tow-trucks in order to steal vehicles. It doesn’t matter how religiously you lock your car doors when a tow-truck is involved, but there are a few ways to make towing your car harder for thieves. Turn your wheels towards the curb as you park, which makes it much harder to tow the car away, and always use your handbrake when parked.

Keep it in good nick

If you keep your car well-maintained, chances are you also take more precautions to prevent theft – and your average joyrider is probably more aware of this than you might think. Keeping your car in good condition isn’t just about aesthetics though; a sturdy vehicle is a safe vehicle. Make sure your cherished alloys aren’t easy to remove, and keep your windshield free from cracks and blemishes. The moment your windshield is compromised, so is your safety – not to mention the security of your car. A damaged windshield can provide an additional means of entry to thieves – yet another reason why it’s vital to source a windshield replacement as soon as a crack develops.

Catherine Halsey is based in Edinburgh and writes for a digital marketing agency. This article links back to Lebeau.ca.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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