If you are unfortunate enough to have experienced an automotive theft, you are familiar with the sinking feeling that ensues and the sense of violation that accompanies it. Vehicle thefts are common, with the FBI estimating 707,758 stolen vehicles in 2015. That translates to a vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds. The good news is that you don’t have to sit back and just hope your vehicle stays safe; there are preventative measures you can take on your own.
Let’s look at a few simple practices and options that will dramatically improve the chances of your vehicle staying safe.
The first and most basic step to keeping your vehicle safe is to prevent others from accessing it easily. Thieves are constantly on the lookout for easy opportunities, which you can deny them by taking simple precautions. Don’t leave your vehicle running while you ‘hop out’ for a minute. Remember, if you can ‘hop out’ then somebody else can ‘hop in’. When you are not in the vehicle, make sure the windows are rolled up completely and that all of the doors are locked. There are thieves that simply wander around lots looking for unlocked doors and it only takes a moment or two of effort on your part to deny them this opportunity.
Last but not least, if you are going to the trouble of always locking your door, make sure you don’t leave a spare key on the exterior of the vehicle. Remember, you want to make it as hard as possible on them.
Control your Surroundings
In addition to easy opportunities, thieves also look for easy places and valuable spots. With a little bit of planning and precaution on your part, you can lower their interest in your vehicle even further. Choosing a smart parking place, especially at night, can go a long way to avoiding a bad situation. Thieves favor places where they can take the time to inspect your vehicle without being seen, so you want to select parking spaces that are in wide open areas with high visibility and lighting.
If you have the option, try to avoid parking next to any objects or other vehicles, anything that would provide cover for someone next to your vehicle. A vehicle sitting by itself in the middle of a brightly lit parking lot is an extremely undesirable target for a thief.
The next thing you want to consider is theft of personal property from your vehicle. While not as traumatic as the loss of an entire vehicle, the theft of personal property is more common and can add up quickly. Ideally, you should remove any valuables from your vehicle every time you exit, but another option is to secure them in a locked glovebox or trunk. At the very least, inconspicuously cover any valuables so they aren’t visible from outside the vehicle. Remember, in the end the only thing separating a thief from your valuables is the glass pane of your window.
Control your Vehicle
The last items on this list are the least simple, but perhaps the most powerful. There are numerous tech solutions for adding additional layers of security on to your vehicle and they can deter even the most skillful thieves. The first of these, audible alarm systems, have been available for decades. The number one defense for thieves is stealth and the flashing lights and wailing siren of a car alarm strips them of that crucial cover. The simple presence of an alarm is often enough for them to move along.
At the high end of vehicle security are vehicle immobilizers and GPS tracking systems. Thieves that do gain access to your vehicle will often hotwire the ignition to get it started, so a vehicle immobilization system adds another layer of complexity to that process. A thief that finds that his usual tricks do not work will likely abandon the attempt in favor of easier pickings. As an absolute last resort, GPS tracking systems can help the police locate your vehicle in the event that it is successfully stolen. Sometimes this can lead to the capture of the thief or, at the very least, the recovery of your vehicle.
By following these steps and applying a good dose of common sense, you can prevent your vehicle and yourself from being a victim. Thieves don’t want to work very hard, so make your vehicle a hard target and they will move on to better opportunities.
Yonkers Kia, located at 1840 Central Park Ave in Yonkers, New York, is the largest volume Kia dealership in the Bronx area. Offering the best prices anywhere, you’ll be sure to find a vehicle that will meet all of your driving needs. Reach out to us today at 855-299-8273 or stop by our dealership. Our team of Kia certified personnel looks forward to serving you!
Yonkers Kia is located at 1840 Central Park Ave in Yonkers, NY 10710. We proudly sell New & Used Kia vehicles at aggressive prices, provide auto maintenance and service, Kia financing, and more.