Amidst the festivities that keep your spirits high during the holiday season, comes the increased chance of break-ins and auto theft during this festive time of the year. Vehicles are one of the most popular targets for criminals because they are relatively easy to steal.
Don’t be the next victim of vehicle theft. Consider the following guidance to prevent car thefts and break-ins.
Tips to Prevent Car Theft
- Never leave your vehicle unattended while it’s running.
- Never leave your keys in the vehicle or ignition, even inside a locked garage.
- Always roll up your windows and lock the vehicle, even if it is in front of your home.
- Always park in a high-traffic, well-lit area, if possible.
- Consider anti-theft devices—such as steering wheel locks or fuel cut-off switches.
- If you park in a free garage, take the pay ticket with you.
- Have your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into each piece of glass on the vehicle as a deterrent.
- Consider purchasing a vehicle alarm system if you live in a high-theft area or drive a theft-prone vehicle. Display an alarm decal near the door handle.
- If you use valet parking, leave just the ignition key with the attendant.
- Copy your license plate and VIN numbers on a card and keep them on you with your driver’s license. If your vehicle is stolen, police will need this information promptly.
Stolen Vehicle Checklist
936,315 – that’s how many vehicle thefts were reported in 2021 – a 17% increase from 2019 according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
If you are a victim of a vehicle theft, immediately report your vehicle as stolen to the police. The sooner a vehicle is reported stolen, the better the chance of recovery. Once a report is filed with law enforcement, notify your insurer of the theft.
Proofing Your Car for Break-ins
There is no way to completely protect your car against a break-in. However, following these tips will reduce the possibility of items disappearing from your car during the holidays.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
- Hide valuables out of sight, such as in the glove box or trunk.
- Do not place your shopping items in the front or back seat. Store your shopping items in the trunk.
- Ensure your vehicle is locked. Double, triple-click the lock button on your mobile remote key. Before having your vehicle out of your sight, double and triple-click the lock button on your mobile remote key.
Again, these tips aren’t guaranteed to completely proof your vehicle from a car thief this holiday season, but it will decrease the possibility.
The Value of Vehicle Security Devices in Preventing Car Theft
Installing a mechanical device that locks to your steering wheel, column or brake pedal to prevent the wheel from being turned more than a few degrees can act as a highly visible physical deterrent for potential thieves if installed properly.
If you are considering implementing such a device—or any vehicle security device—on your vehicle, be sure to purchase the product from a quality brand or company and consult a trusted auto mechanic for proper installation.