Protect Your Car from Theft
Motor vehicles are becoming increasingly harder to steal each year, but statistics indicate just under 700,000 vehicles will be stolen in the United States this year, many of them because the owner left the key in the ignition or left the doors open. A total of 26,365 vehicles were stolen in Georgia last year.
You can greatly increase your protection against auto theft crime by taking the following precautions.
Here are some tips to help make your vehicle less desirable to thieves:
- Lock your car. It is common sense that many thefts happen to unlocked vehicles. The goal is to make your car less desirable than others, and a locked door is a simple deterrent.
- Never leave your car running unattended and always take your keys with you. Otherwise, you are inviting thieves to drive off with your car.
- Keep windows closed when you park and leave your vehicle. A slender arm or clothes hanger can reach in through even a narrow opening to unlock the door.
- Don’t store valuables or expensive electronic devices in plain sight. It’s best to take portable devices with you.
- Park in a well-lighted, public place when running errands and when at home. A car will, obviously, be safer in a garage than in a driveway or at a curb.
- Use a visual warning device, such as a blinking light, as a deterrent. An alarm can be effective, but it is even better if the crook doesn’t break into the vehicle in the first place. If your car is not factory-equipped with these features, they can be installed at a local automotive stereo shop.
- Smart keys or a fuel cut-offs system, aka engine immobilizer, are standard on many late-model cars and can add security. Thieves won’t steal a car they cannot start.
- For advanced protection, install a GPS or radio frequency tracking system in your vehicle to help police find it.
The top five most stolen vehicles for 2013, according to the NICB, are the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F Series pickup, Toyota Camry and the Dodge Ram Pickup. These older cars tend to be more popular than new cars because their parts can be sold for a higher value. Also, anti-theft technologies in new cars have made it more difficult for thieves to steal.
Here’s the list of the 10 most stolen cars from all model years taken during 2013, according to the NICB, with total units cited:
- Honda Accord, 53,995
- Honda Civic, 45,001
- Chevrolet Silverado, 27,809
- Ford F-150, 26,494
- Toyota Camry, 14,420
- Dodge/Ram Pickup, 11,347
- Dodge Caravan, 10,911
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee, 9,272
- Toyota Corolla, 9,010
- Nissan Altima, 8,892
And here’s the top 10 list of new vehicles (from the 2013 model year) stolen last year, also based on NICB data:
- Nissan Altima, 810
- Ford Fusion, 793
- Ford F-150, 775
- Toyota Corolla, 669
- Chevrolet Impala, 654
- Hyundai Elantra, 541
- Dodge Charger, 536
- Chevrolet Malibu, 529
- Chevrolet Cruze, 499
- Ford Focus, 483