A vehicle is stolen every 20 seconds in the United States. AUTO THEFT IS BIG BUSINESS! If auto theft were legalized and incorporated, it would rank 56th among the Fortune 500 companies. WATCH YOUR CAR!!
Your vehicle is one of the largest investments you make. New vehicles are not the only target for car thieves. Older model vehicles are also very desirable. Thieves look for cars that can be resold quickly or stripped for parts. In most cases, a vehicle's parts are worth two to three times the value of the vehicle.
No vehicle or anti-theft device is 100% theft-proof, and discouraging thieves is not an easy task. A thief's greatest enemy is time. The more difficult your car is to steal, the longer it takes to be stolen. And the more time a thief has to spend stealing your car, the greater the chance of detection. By making your car a tougher target, the thief will probably move on to a car that is easier to steal.Top Ten "No Cost" Precautions
- Take Your Keys. Nearly 20% of all vehicles stolen had the keys in them.
- Lock Your Car. Approximately 50% of all vehicles stolen were left unlocked.
- Never Hide a Second Set of Keys in Your Car. Extra keys can easily be found if a thief takes time to look.
- Park in Well-lighted Areas. Over half of all vehicle thefts occur at night.
- Park in Attended Lots. Auto thieves do not like witnesses and prefer unattended parking lots.
- If You Park in an Attended Lot, Leave Only the Ignition/Door Key. If your trunk and glove box use the same key as the door, have one of them changed. Don't give the attendant (think also Valet Parking Attendants) easy access to your glove box and trunk. Upon returning, check the tires, spare and battery to insure they are the same as those you had when you parked.
- Never Leave Your Car Running, Even if You'll Only Be Gone for a Minute. Vehicles are commonly stolen at convenience stores, gas stations, ATM's, etc. Many vehicles are also stolen on cold mornings when the owner leaves the vehicle running to warm up.
- Completely Close Car Windows When Parking. Don't make it any easier for the thief to enter your vehicle.
- Don't Leave Valuables in Plain View. Don't make your car a more desirable target and attract thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight. Put valuables in the trunk or at least cover them in some fashion.
- Park With Your Wheels Turned Towards the Curb. Make you car tough to tow away. Wheels should also be turned to the side in driveways and parking lots.