Auto Theft Safety Tips

Auto Theft Safety Tips

1. Hide your valuables from plain sight to avoid attracting thieves.

2. Lock your vehicle and take your keys. Approximately 50% of vehicles stolen were left unlocked.

3. Never hide a second set of keys in or on your vehicle. Extra keys can easily be found by thieves.

4. Park in well-lighted areas or attended lots. More than half of all vehicle thefts occur at night. Auto Thieves tend to target unattended parking lots.

5. Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will only be away for a minute. Vehicles are commonly stolen at convenience stores, gas stations, ATMs, etc. Many vehicles are also stolen on cold mornings when the owner leaves the vehicle running to warm up. Leaving your key in an unattended motor vehicle is a crime in Florida.

6. Don’t leave documents in your vehicle with important personal details such as the title or insurance card. A thief can use these to sell your stolen vehicle. File the title and registration receipt at your home or office, and carry your insurance card in your purse or wallet.

7. Make your vehicle less easy to tow away. Park with your wheels turned towards the curb and use your emergency brake. Wheels should also be turned to the side in driveways and parking lots.

8.  If you have a garage, use it. Your vehicle may be more vulnerable when you park outside. Lock your garage as well as your vehicle’s doors.

9. Disable your vehicle when leaving it unattended for an extended period. Remove the electronic ignition fuse, coil wire, or distributor rotor, or otherwise disable your vehicle any time thieves may have extended access to it.

10. Engrave your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or personal I.D. number on expensive accessories and parts. Stolen vehicles/parts are more easily traced when VINs have been etched on vehicle windows, major parts, and expensive accessories.

11. Have an ignition or fuel kill switch installed by someone who is qualified. Ignition kill switches can be used to stop the vehicle from starting. A fuel kill switch cuts off the flow of fuel when the switch is off.

12. Get inside locking devices for your vehicle. Visible steering wheel locks prevent the steering wheel from being turned properly. Gas or brake pedal locks disable the fuel and braking functions. Gearshift locks disable shifting of the transmission by locking it in place. Tire/Wheel locks wrap around the wheel and prevent the vehicle from moving. Hood locks prevent the thief from gaining access to your security system and battery. An armored collar around the steering column protects the column and ignition.

13. Get an alarm system for your vehicle. Alarms emit a loud warning sound when the door, hood or trunk are opened. Optional sensors include glass breakage, motion tampering, and towing. Panic buttons, back-up batteries, flashing parking lights or headlights, and automatic engine disable features are also recommended.

14. Get a GPS vehicle tracker. This is usually a silent device that can be hidden in a vehicle to transmit a signal that allows the vehicle’s location to be tracked.