Studies show that a vehicle is stolen every 20 seconds. Car theft can happen to anyone. Car thieves are out for both old and new cars and the parts. Although there is no 100 percent auto theft proof device, there are precautions that you can take to reduce the chances of your car being stolen. Here are some steps to take.
- Take your car keys with you at all times. Do not leave them in the car. Almost 20 percent of vehicles stolen had keys left in them.
- Lock your car at all times. Unlocked cars are easy targets.
- Park in a well lighted area and as close to stores or other establishments as possible. Avoid parking in lots that are unattended, especially in the night.
- Take all valuables such as purses, cameras, video games or money with you when you leave your car. Do not leave any valuables visible as temptation. Hiding an extra set of keys under the car in a magnetic key box is a bad idea; auto thieves can easily find them.
- Park your car with the wheels turned sideways, whether it's at the curb, driveway or at the parking lot. Also, apply the emergency brake every time you park. These actions make it harder for a car to be towed away by auto thieves.
- Avoid leaving you vehicle running unattended at gas stations, convenience stores or just to warm up the car, even if it's just for a minute. Car thieves look for any opportunity to drive your car away.
- Close windows completely; do not leave any opening.
- Park your car in the garage, if possible. Lock the garage and car at all times.
- Keep your vehicle registration and title at home; this prevents thieves from selling your car easily.
- Etch your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the windows and other main parts of the vehicle. Record your VIN number somewhere at home. This deters thieves as it helps the police to trace a stolen car quicker.
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