You can make your car an unlikely target for thieves.
When it comes to auto-theft vulnerability, many cars’ license plates might as well read “EZ -MARK.” Police report that, in more than 50% of car-theft cases, drivers unwittingly help crooks by leaving their doors unlocked. Nearly 15% of those drivers leave the keys, too.
While a truly determined thief can nab most anything on four wheels, you’ll make your car less of a target when you follow these tips:
- Pocket your keys and lock the doors whenever you park – even if you’ll be away just a few seconds. Never hide a spare key under the seat or above the visor. Those are the first places thieves look.
- At attended parking lots, leave only the ignition key with the car. Take the trunk key, the key to your home, and all other keys with you.
- When parking on the street, find a well-lighted area. Good lighting is even more critical if you’re parking overnight. (Thieves intent on ransacking cars often strike between 3 and 5 a.m.).
- Don’t invite a break-in by leaving valuables like smart phones, MP3 players, or packages in view. Take them with you or lock them in the trunk.
- When stashing valuables in the trunk, do it before you park so a thief doesn’t see you. If you don’t have a trunk, put belongings out of sight on the floor or under the seat.
- Be extra careful at service stations and convenience stores. Thieves lurk in parking lots and listen for the bell that dings when a key is in the ignition.