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Tips to Keep Your Car Safe from Thieves When Parking in Public

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How to keep your vehicle from being a target from break-ins

Car Theft Protection

With warm summer weather here, you’re no doubt planning a road trip to somewhere fun. But, before you pack your car with suitcases and hit the road, you need to ensure that your vehicle is ready to be left in public.

Having your car broken into by thieves, especially when it’s packed with your belongings on vacation, is scary and distressing, but oftentimes avoidable. Know the best ways to deter burglars by keeping your vehicle from becoming a target for break-ins.

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How to Keep Your Parked Car from Becoming a Target for Thieves

Above all, two techniques will provide the most security from thieves: Locking your doors and stowing belongings out of sight.

  • Lock: Leaving your car unlocked when it’s parking is practically asking for burglars to take whatever is in it. Triple-check to make sure the doors are locked before you walk away. If you use a remote key fob to lock the car, tug on the door handle to ensure it worked. Determined thieves may have signal interrupters nearby that prevent key fobs from working.
  • Stow: Your car becomes a prime target if you leave any belongings in eyesight, whether they’re actually valuable or not. Fit everything you can in the vehicle’s trunk, even if it’s a duffel bag of old gym shorts. If it looks intriguing, thieves may take the chance. The floors, seats, and center console should be barren. Also, never leave any personal identification in the vehicle that could be taken.

Parking location also plays a major part in ensuring your vehicle doesn’t become a target for break-ins. Don’t park in secluded/desolate location where thieves can take their time and won’t be noticed. Instead, park somewhere heavily-trafficked, monitored, under a streetlamp, and away from easily-accessible exits.

Other useful tips include:

  • Take good care of your car. Studies have shown that criminals are less likely to mess with cars which look well-maintained and secured. If the owner protects the outside, chances are they protect the inside.
  • Invest in a car alarm if yours doesn’t have one, or at least obtain a fake sticker to put in the window.
  • Never leave your car running, even if someone is sitting inside it.

You can also take precautions to minimize consequences if your car does get broken into.

  • Obviously, don’t leave a spare key in the car to the criminal to take—such as behind the visor like people do in the movies.
  •  If you’re consistently leaving the vehicle outside at night in a high-crime area, consider buying an immobilizer like The Club, investing in a kill switch, or taking the steering wheel with you at night.

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Sources: Your Mechanic, The Telegraph