Every 43 seconds, a car is being stolen in the United States, which is close to one million vehicles a year. Cars are very expensive, and most people have to work for years to be able to afford one, but it takes less than a minute for a thief to steal your car. The 12 tips below will hopefully help you not fall victim to car thieves.
2. They Have a Favorite State
Sorry California residents, but you’re most at risk. California has consistently been the state with the most car thefts since 1960. No other state even comes close.
Car thieves aren’t just looking for a new ride, they’re most likely going to resell parts of your car, especially if it has custom wheels, high-end seats, or a custom engine. If not, they’re doing it to help facilitate another crime, go for a joy ride, or win a dare.
4. Sometimes, They Don’t Even Care about the Car
Car break-ins are actually much more common than actual car thefts, mostly because people often forget that they have left valuables such as laptops and purses in their vehicles.
Thieves know how you will think and they act upon it. Thieves often walk through a nice-looking neighborhood at night, checking for unlocked cars. About one out of six unlocked cars had a spare key inside.
6. Public Parking Lots Are Like a Gold Mine
Whether they’re at the mall, the airport, the gym, or the stadium, public parking lots and garages are an ideal location for car thefts. There’s a whole assortment of cars to choose from, and many don’t have adequate security. In short, if the public has access to your vehicle, then it’s at risk of theft. You should avoid leaving your car on the outskirts of a parking lot, park as close to the building entrance as possible, and make sure your car is close to a surveillance camera.
One reason parking garages are a prime target for car theft is that thieves are less likely to be spotted there, as opposed to somewhere on the street. Thieves like these locations because they’re quiet and they can hear if somebody is coming.
8. The Way You Park Makes a Difference
Thankfully, there are precautions you can take against thieves who frequent parking garages. You should park your vehicle with the front end facing an obstacle, such as a wall or guardrail, whenever possible. Doing this makes it harder for thieves to tow or roll your car away if they can't get it started. If you’re out on the street, park under a light, turn the wheels toward the curb, and lock the steering wheel.
As unsettling as it is, car thieves may spy on you and your car for extended periods of time to figure out their best plans of attack. Therefore, for example, if you often leave your car running to warm up on cold winter’s day, don’t leave it unattended.
10. They Work Together
Thieves will often offer a finder’s fee to someone who can provide a location, photos. And/or any other details about a certain car that they’re looking for. Crews who are looking for a particular type of vehicle to steal will put out bounties for this type of information. This information could come from somebody who just drives by and sees a target vehicle or maybe a security guard who can tell the thieves the schedule of a target.
You won’t be able to pick out a car thief on the street. They blend into the crowds so no one gets suspicious of what they’re about to do. This is why you need to take extra precautions to keep thieves out.
12. We Don’t Like Stickers
One simple but surprisingly effective way to throw off a potential thief is to put a sticker in your rear window that suggests you have an alarm or tracking system set up in your car. If thieve suspect that there’s a chance they could get caught, they are more likely to pass up that car for an easier steal.