Four Keys to Preventing Car Theft

How to protect your vehicle from would-be thieves
According to the FBI, a car is stolen every 45 seconds in the United States. That’s more than 1,900 cars a day. Yet 56 percent of Americans don’t worry about their cars being stolen, according to a 2014 Gallup Crime Poll. 
 
Using a little common sense and readily available theft-prevention devices can minimize auto theft. The more layers of protection you implement, the less likely it is your car will be stolen. Following are four keys to theft prevention. 
 
1. Awareness
Nearly half of vehicle thefts could have been prevented by the owner, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Whenever you leave your car, take a moment to check that you have:
  • Parked in a well-lit area.
  • Locked the doors and closed the windows. 
  • Removed spare keys from inside the vehicle.
  • Moved valuables and other items out of view. 
2. Deterrence
Vehicles that are easy to break into and allow for a quick getaway are attractive to thieves. Visible theft deterrents signal that your car could be difficult to steal. Consider using:
  • Steering wheel locks.
  • Brake pedal locks.
  • Theft deterrent decals.
  • Audible alarm systems.
3. Immobilization
Immobilizing devices prevent a car from being hot-wired. Many late model vehicles come standard with immobilization devices, and some after-market options are available for earlier model cars. These include:
  • Smart keys.
  • Fuse cut-offs.
  • Kill switches.
  • Starter or fuel pump disablers.
  • Wireless ignition authentication systems.
4. Tracking
A tracking device emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when a vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles, and some employ telematics, which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.