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Don't Be An Auto Theft Casualty! Outsmart The Bad Guys!

Jun 29, 2008
It is a small thing to remember to lock your car when you run in for a quart of milk; however, it is a HUGE thing to be a victim of an auto theft. When a vehicle is stolen, it can cause major disruption to your routines, not to mention the expense factor. The majority of car thefts are perpetrated by common criminals just wanting a car to take for a joyride, although some cars are definitely stolen for the purpose of re-sale or taken apart for parts.

Law enforcement agencies do what they can to protect us from having our cars stolen, but they can only do so much - we have to do our part too. An anti-theft security system is one good way to keep your car out of the hands of thieves. While a theft prevention device can deter thieves and make it more difficult for him to steal your vehicle, it is not infallible and so can not always prevent career criminals from getting away with your car.

Car thieves tend to lurk in areas where they know there will be a lot of cars parked, for example shopping malls. About 66% of all car thefts occur during the night hours. It might interest you to know that a professional car thief can be into your car in less than 60 seconds and driving away in your new SUV before you even know it's missing!

Vehicle owners can be careless, and sometimes promote the theft of their cars. Leaving your car running when nobody is in it, is illegal, and it definitely contributes to the possibility that your car will be stolen. A lot of stolen cars are very much crimes of "opportunity" and we must all be more responsible and help to cut down on this problem.

One of the things, as car owners, that we have to do, is to make it more difficult for car thieves to steal our cars in the first place. Never leave your car idling with the keys in the ignition, even if you're just popping into the store briefly. Your keys belong with you - and make sure you never hand out your house keys on your key fob when you are using valet parking - that could lead to a whole raft of problems for you.

You should know that you issue an open invitation to thieves by leaving car doors unlocked and windows open. A thief much prefers to test a number of car doors in a parking lot until he finds one that is unlocked, than to draw attention to himself by using a crowbar on the windshield.

Don't tempt an auto thief by leaving luggage, bags and other valuables openly visible in your car. Wallets, CDs, purses, ipods, loose change, are all things that can be pocketed easily so make a point of taking these type of items with you. If there is no other way around it, lock up any valuables in your trunk, taking care that no one is watching you, and preferably do it somewhere other than where you intend to park.

It is adviseable not to leave important papers such as your drivers licence, vehicle registration, credit cards etc in your car. Know that if a thief wants to he can be into your car in no time, and just think what a lot of problems could arise if he got hold of some of those important documents!

Avoid dark parking spots that are nestled in trees, behind bushes or whatever. Find a brightly lit spot, (directly under a lamp is preferable), where lots of people are continually passing by. Thieves don't like to be seen in these highly visible areas.

Two of the simplest ways to protect your car against theft, are by using a steering wheel locking device or a steering-wheel-to-brake-pedal locking device. Having a visible or audible device to show thieves that the car is protected is another good idea. If you should decide to get a complete security system for your car, the system should cover all points of entry to the vehicle.

Auto theft is a serious crime that affects the whole community. We all need to become more pro-active so that these thefts don't occur due to our own negligence. Remember to always secure your car even for brief periods, as auto theft happens fast and an unlocked car left with the engine running is simply asking for trouble.
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