According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 700,000 motor vehicles were reported stolen in the United States in 2015. And car theft is not exclusive to the United States, as the Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that automobile theft costs Canadians roughly $1 billion each year.
Car thieves are often highly skilled, but that does not mean car owners cannot take steps to reduce their risk of being victimized by auto theft.
Take the simple steps. Suggestions like keeping cars locked at all times and rolling up all windows before walking away from the car may sound simple, but they’re also effective. Drivers should avoid being careless no matter how briefly they plan to be away from their vehicles. Talented thieves need only a few seconds to steal a car, so don’t make it any easier for them than it already is.
Park in well-lit areas. Well-lit parking lots may not prevent cars from being stolen, but such lots, especially ones monitored by security cameras, can be a strong deterrent to thieves who want to avoid being seen and having their crimes documented on camera.
Park in public areas. Avoid parking in areas that are off the beaten path. While this might make for easy parking, such areas are also enticing to prospective car thieves worried about people witnessing their crimes. When parking at grocery stores, malls or other areas with large parking lots, park as close to pedestrian entrances as possible. Constant foot traffic can deter thieves from attempting to steal cars.
Install an alarm system and anti-theft device. Insurance companies often discount their premiums for drivers whose vehicles have alarm systems and anti-theft devices. Such systems and technology draw attention to vehicles when thieves attempt to steal them, and many thieves can easily spot which cars have anti-theft devices they would prefer to avoid.
Remove personal items and valuables from the vehicle. Automobiles should not be used as rolling storage facilities for various reasons. One such reason is that valuables may attract thieves. Women should always take their purses with them when leaving their vehicles, and all drivers should make sure to remove all valuables when exiting their cars.
Car theft is a legitimate concern for drivers, but savvy motorists can take steps to reduce the risk of their vehicles being stolen.
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