“If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to Prevent Your Car from Getting Stolen

You already know where thieves operate. You know what kinds of stuff they do so they can steal your car. Now, you need to know what you should do so you can prevent those from happening. I’ve cited a few examples in my previous post, but just to be safe, I again did a little research and found the following:

Caroline Pardilla of Edmunds.com wrote:
  1. Since it seems like everything from a loud Harley to a rumbling garbage truck can set off a car alarm, people have been conditioned to tune them out. Instead of a motion-sensitive car alarm, use one that has a pager that will notify you as soon as your alarm is activated.
  2. Don't tempt car thieves. Keep valuables out of plain sight. Take them with you or store them in the trunk. Also, if you have a stereo with a removable face plate, take it with you instead of tucking it away in the glovebox.
  3. Instead of locking just your steering wheel, "lock" your car's ability to go by using a starter disable switch and putting it in a place where only you can get to it.
  4. Instead of going to a big retail chain store, have your car alarm installed by a professional car alarm installer, preferably a reasonably shady one. Unlike retail chain employees, these experts know what it takes to make your car elusive to crooks.
  5. Never display stickers that advertise what sort of car alarm you have, or audio system for that matter. Consider using a hood lock cable so the thief can't get to your battery or car alarm mechanism.
  6. Never leave your keys in the ignition even for a quick errand. Car theft is a crime of opportunity, so don't make it easy for them to grab yours.
  7. Keep your registration and insurance information with you and never leave personal information in your car.
  8. Whenever possible, park in lots and garages that have security and/or parking lot attendants. If not, don't park in the farthest corner of the lot but rather near the entrance of these facilities to insure the most foot traffic (and the most potential witnesses). Also, opt for paying the extra couple of dollars for the monitored parking lot instead of using the free parking on the less-trafficked side streets.
  9. Don't leave spare keys in your car or in a magnetic box attached to the underside of your car. Thieves know where all the "hiding places" are.
  10. Instead of VIN etching the major parts of your vehicle, which doesn't turn most thieves off, drop your business card into the doors through the window slots to identify your car as yours.
If you have read that thoroughly then you know you are late for a little shopping. A car alarm pager should head your list followed by a starter disable switch and a hood lock cable conversion kit. Among the three, I only have the first. I suggest you avail of one. I would suggest getting a Kingtronic car alarm pager (KRF-430C), or a Crimestopper. They do not come cheap because usually they have built-in LCD displays that show whatever the security video inside the car is getting. If you can’t get in time to your car to ward off the thief, that’s what the starter disable switch is for. If he can’t get the hood to open, he won’t know that the starter is disabled. And it takes a long time to get it up and running.

The abovementioned tips are actually very good. And some of ‘em are original. You would do well to follow them if you don’t want your car to get stolen.