The safety of your car is something that you can’t take for granted. With thieves always on the lookout for their next score, it’s important to know how to prevent automotive breaking in and theft.
The frequency of car theft in the Austin area has been on a steady rise according to local statistics. It’s important to plan ahead and think of techniques to help reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure that your vehicle stays safe from vandals and criminals.
The following are the top 23 ways that will help keep your car secure:
1) Always triple-check that you’ve locked all doors and rolled up windows before leaving your car behind
It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people leave their cars unlocked because they “checked” and thought it was secure. It’s natural for us to turn from one task to another (like checking that all the doors are locked after shutting off the engine), but this is not always effective.
Almost every car thief will go for the easiest target, which is an unlocked door. So the first thing you should always do is lock your car even if you are just stepping out for a few minutes. Even if it’s only for 10 brief seconds, never leave your car unlocked or walk away without locking your doors.
2) Keep your car in the garage – if possible
If you can, park your car inside the garage with the door shut. A closed garage door acts as an extra layer of protection for your vehicle. And it also makes it harder for thieves to break in since they would have to spend more time and effort trying to get into the garage.
3) Install a car alarm system
Car alarms are designed to deter potential thieves from breaking into your vehicle by emitting loud noises that sound like explosions whenever an intruder breaches the doors or windows of your car. In most cases, a thief wouldn’t want to stick around in an area with lots of noise when he could be the target of a police investigation.
4) Put mysterious-looking devices on your gas cap
Thieves won’t have any idea what these are, but they do know that tampering with them is a waste of time because it’s not worth the risk. They’re also less likely to steal your car if they know that it’s equipped with a locking gas cap.
5) Park in well-lit and busy areas
The more people around an area, the better. If you can’t find a brightly lit spot, drive up and down the streets first and look for one with lots of pedestrians or open businesses.
If you’re looking for a spot to park in a crowded area, opt for the most visible spots. Thieves tend to stay away from highly visible locations because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. Further, parking lots with good lighting are always better than dark ones.
6) Place valuables in the trunk before leaving
Never leave keys or remotes in plain sight within the vehicle. Any valued possession that can be seen through an open window or sunroof is like a magnet that’s screaming “come steal me”! Never leave anything valuable inside of a parked car (like laptops or purses) or anything that could easily catch the attention of possible thieves (like groceries, briefcases, or other bags).
If someone breaks into your car and finds nothing of value inside they are likely to move on. By placing valuable items in the trunk you are making it less appealing to thieves looking for easy targets.
7) If someone suspicious approaches, don’t stop
If you see someone suspicious hanging around your car, don’t stop. If they are up to no good they won’t want to be noticed while breaking in or stealing something from your vehicle, so just keep driving and go somewhere else where it is more crowded. Tell the police about any person that seems suspicious and let them investigate.
8) Never show your valuables in public
Don’t flash around or display expensive possessions such as jewelry, laptops, cell phones, and other devices. This will only draw attention to you and put a target on your back. The best course of action is to keep high-value items at home and use a nondescript backpack or a gym bag for your essentials.
9) Use an anti-theft device
Anti-theft devices are designed to make it more difficult for thieves to break in and steal your car. They can be permanently installed or key activated, but either way, they are effective tools that will make the process of stealing your car much harder. Locking steering wheel clubs and other types of steering wheel locks are also a good idea.
10) Never leave important documents in your car
When you leave even your favorite music CD behind, the chances that someone will break into your vehicle to get it is slim to none. However, if you’re leaving something like a social security card, purse, laptop, or other documents behind, you may as well be telling thieves to break in and take whatever they can find since it will allow them access to your personal information.
Thieves break into cars for many reasons, but it is likely that they will take anything of value, including proof of ownership. Many people don’t bother taking the time to remove the registration from their glove box before leaving their vehicle unattended so if you are one of these people, make a mental note to take it with you every time.
11) Secure your gas cap with an anti-theft device
Many cars are equipped with locking gas caps, but if yours doesn’t have one, install one immediately. Thieves won’t be able to put anything in the tank without the key. If you can’t get a locking gas cap for whatever reason, buy something like a zip tie that will secure the cap to the car and make it much more difficult for crooks to remove.
12) Don’t leave your car running and unattended
It only takes the length of time it takes to unlock a door, start the engine, and drive away for someone to steal an unattended vehicle. If you must run into a store quickly (or if you’re too cold), make sure that the car is locked and that any valuable items are moved to the trunk.
13) If you think your car has been broken into, don’t check it yourself
If you’ve never experienced something like having your home broken into, it can be tempting to pull out your phone or go inside and check to see if anything has been taken. Don’t do this! You are just putting yourself in harm’s way.
If your car is being broken into, you are better off getting out of there as quickly as possible and calling the police from a nearby location.
14) Park in well-lit areas at night
Thieves can’t steal what they can’t find! If you park in a dark area at night, it will be easier for them to tamper with your car without being seen.
15) Park close to the wall or other obstacle
If there is only one place left to park, choose this spot instead of further away from where people can see your car. Sticking out like a sore thumb makes it more likely for thieves to see and carjack you (if they can get close enough).
17) Always lock your vehicle – even in the garage
Although most vehicles are stolen from public parking lots, thieves will still break into homes and search for available cars to steal that may have been left inside garages or other enclosed areas. It only takes a few seconds for them to unlock a car and steal it.
18) Don’t let your pride get in the way of being safe
It may be inconvenient, but driving a vehicle that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or using an old-fashioned steering wheel lock can actually help prevent crime. This type of deterrent is much more effective than leaving your car unlocked because you don’t want to damage it by putting a club or other locking mechanism on it.
19) Park your car facing the curb
Another way to deter thieves is by parking with the front of your car facing the edge of a sidewalk, thus making it impossible for them to move from that position unless they have a tow truck or can flip your vehicle over. All crooks have are flatbeds and, if they do manage to pick your car up and move it, the steering wheel lock will prevent them from turning.
20) Get yourself a steering wheel lock
You’ve got a lot of important things in your car. The steering wheel lock is an inexpensive way to add some security and peace of mind to your ride. It prevents thieves from being able to steal your vehicle by clamping around the steering column, holding it in place so that they can’t turn it or disengage the parking brake.
A few screws and a drill later, you’re all set! You’ll also be glad that you have one if someone tries to break into your car with their bare hands because it will prevent them from being able to drive away with anything inside. An anti-theft device for your car doesn’t have to be expensive. Plus, you can buy them in safe places like your local Austin locksmith.
21) Always activate your car alarm when parking on a public street
If you don’t have a steering wheel lock, an alarm that will attract attention is the next best thing. Thieves may try to break into your car with a slim jim or screwdriver but, unless they’re talented enough to defeat your locks quickly, it won’t matter because you’ll be protected by your alarm system.
It’s not uncommon for cars to have an alarm system. The alarm is a device installed in the car that would sound when someone attempts to break in or steal it. This is because cars are becoming a prime target for burglars. In order to keep your car safe from thieves, you need to install a security system that will deter potential intruders from breaking in and stealing your property.
22) Replace your ignition column cover
This is often the first thing that a thief does when trying to steal a vehicle with an old-style locking mechanism. Although this isn’t a hard job, the metal column that holds it in place is usually only covered with a thin piece of plastic, making it easy to pry off and access the locks inside.
It’s not as easy as it looks, though. There are plenty of tricks out there for thieves to use to protect their own cars from being stolen. Fortunately, your Austin locksmith has the knowledge necessary to stop them and help you keep your car safe.
23) Obtain car insurance
Car insurance can be a great way to protect your vehicle from theft. However, it’s important not to let anyone else know that you have car insurance because they may target your car specifically. It’s also crucial for all of the people living with you in the household to keep their cars insured as well because thieves will often break into homes and search for available cars they can steal. Car insurance is an easy way to avoid having the most expensive parts of owning a vehicle stolen or damaged! With average rates at $2,000 per year, it would be worth looking into this type of protection if you own a vehicle – even if just as an added safety measure.
It’s not as easy to protect your car from theft and break-ins as it used to be. The best way is by taking precautions such as parking with the front of your vehicle facing the curb, installing a steering wheel lock, getting an alarm system that will deter thieves even if they’re able to bypass other security measures, replacing any broken dashboard covers right away and obtaining car insurance for protection against auto thefts. It may seem like a lot but it’s worth doing in order to keep yourself safe on Austin roads!
If you need a reliable and trustworthy Austin locksmith to help protect your car from theft and break-ins, call us anytime at (512) 489-0996!
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When choosing an Austin auto locksmith company, make sure to choose one with skilled and experienced technicians. Only a highly-trained locksmith will be able to provide you with good results.
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