How to Avoid Car Theft

A car can be stolen in less than 60 seconds and most of those stolen are never recovered. More than a million cars are stolen every year, which equates to about one car every 27 seconds. Taking a few extra security precautions can help you avoid being a victim. Your car is an expensive investment so it's important to know how to avoid car theft and keep your car safe.


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    Choose a well-lit area
    • Whether you're parking on the street or in a garage, opt for well-lit areas. Park under garage security lights or street lamps; thieves are less likely to target your vehicle if they can be seen easily and will draw attention to themselves.
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    Stay away from parking lot and garage exits
    • Thieves are more likely to try to steal cars close to the parking lot or garage exits, because they will have a faster getaway. Try to park in the middle of a row of cars in a heavily trafficked area of the lot or garage. Making sure your car blends in is a good strategy to avoid car theft.
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    Pay for the monitored lot
    • Monitored parking lots that are watched by security guards cost a few extra dollars, but thieves will pass them by in favor of less secure vehicles in unmonitored areas. Avoid auto theft by parking in a lot that has security guards and make sure one will be in attendance the whole time your car is parked there.
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    Lock all of your doors
    • Many car thefts happen at home because drivers feel safe parking in their own driveways and leave their car unlocked. Always lock all the doors of your vehicle, even outside your house.
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    Invest in an alarm system
    • Have an alarm system professionally installed in your car that will notify you immediately if your car has been tampered with. Loud alarms will quickly deter car theft, and some systems can be programmed to automatically summon police. Alarm system professionals can also recommend systems to deactivate your car's ignition system, requiring a key or activator to start the vehicle.
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    Keep spare keys somewhere else
    • Never keep spare keys in the wheel well or under your car. These key holders are convenient, but they make it easy for your car to be stolen inconspicuously. Instead, choose a designated place to keep a spare set of keys and make it known only to family members that drive the car.
    • Don't put all your valuables in the trunk.Most trunks are very easily accessible.
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    Never leave valuables like laptop computers, briefcases, purses, wallets or cell phones in plain sight. These add incentive for a thief to steal your car, so lock them in the trunk or take them with you. If your stereo has a removable face plate, take it with you.
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    Take your information with you
    • Instead of storing your title, insurance information and registration in your glove box, keep them on your person. A car thief checking out your car will be more likely to try to steal it if there are documents in the vehicle that can also let them steal your identity.


  • Invest in a steering lock. Comparatively, your car is now harder to steal. The next one is now easier.
  • Even better, install a steering boss, so that you can uncouple your steering and take it with you.


  • Never try to stop car thieves in the act. They could be armed, and trying to stop them yourself could result in severe injury. Call the police immediately and give them a full description of the thieves.

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Categories: Cars | Travel Safety & Security