Do you know how to prevent your car from being stolen or broken into? It’s an upsetting and disorienting feeling. You get your keys out and walk toward your car, but as you approach it, you realize something isn’t right. There’s glass scattered around it, and as you draw closer, you realize the passenger window has been smashed.
Your mind racing, you rush towards it and open the door. You had thought it would be safe to leave your cell phone and purse on the front seat while you ran inside the coffee shop to pick up a to-go order, but now they’re both gone. Also gone? Your sister’s wrapped birthday gift that was in the back seat.
It’s easy to become victimized if you don’t know how to prevent your car from being stolen or broken into. Here are some tips to keep your vehicles safe.
How to Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen or Broken Into
Thieves Can Strike Anywhere
Whether your car is parked on the street, in a parking lot, or in a garage, it can fall victim to enterprising thieves. Where you park does matter, however, in terms of how attractive a target your car becomes.
Obviously, parking your car inside a locked garage is best, as it provides an additional barrier to deter criminals from trying to access your vehicle. If you don’t have a garage, park your car as close to your house as possible. While open carports provide protection from the elements, thieves like them — especially at night — because of the darkness and privacy they provide.
If you must park in a public area, try to put your car in a place with as much activity as possible. Criminals love it when vehicles are left in places that are unsupervised and hard to see. They often target park-and-ride lots where people leave their cars for hours at a time in order to shuttle into work. Try to park where your vehicle is visible to a security guard, nearby businesses, or passing traffic.
Keeping Your Car Safe
To understand how to prevent your car from being stolen or broken into, you have to think like a thief. Criminals behave with cars the same way they behave with houses; they don’t like unknown quantities. They’re more likely to target a car or home with valuable items easily displayed through the windows.
With your vehicle, the solution is simple: don’t leave valuables inside. If thieves break in, they’ll check your glove compartment and trunk to see what valuables you’re hiding there. Laptops and GPS devices are oft-stolen electronics that people tend to leave in their cars. Captain Laurence D. Nodiff, Commanding Officer of Philadelphia’s South Detective Division, suggests wiping off any suction cup marks that may even suggest that you use a GPS device while in your car. Even if you’ve taken your GPS inside, the broken window still isn’t worth it.
Having your vehicle stolen is even worse than having it broken into. Always lock your doors to prevent easy access to your car. Never get out of your car and leave your keys in the ignition. This is a common situation that’s an open invitation to car theft — particularly when people leave their keys in the ignition and get out to pump gas on the opposite side of the vehicle. A thief can jump in, start the engine, and be gone before the owner can make it back to the driver’s side of their car.
Preventing Vehicle Break-ins
It’s a wild, wild world out there and you can only do so much to protect your vehicle in public. At home, you have a few more tools at your disposal. In addition to following all of the rules mentioned above, consider adding elements to your home security system that can help protect your vehicles.
For instance, consider including your garage in your home security system in order to discourage intruders from trying to gain access. Even if you don’t have a garage, motion-sensitive lighting will put intruders in the spotlight should they wander into your driveway at night. Another effective deterrent? Install security cameras around the exterior of your home. You’ll be able to monitor them from a smartphone app in order to tell if that bump in the night was just a raccoon getting into the garbage or something that requires a visit from the police.
Knowing how to prevent your car from being stolen or broken into is only half the battle. Whether it’s removing items from your car or beefing up your home security system, you have to take the time to put your plan into action in order to truly keep your vehicle and possessions safe.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.