Are you aware that an experienced car thief can steal your car in less than a minute? While no car is immune to the possibility of theft, there are some simple things that you can do to help lessen the possibility of this happening to you.
General tips to prevent auto theft or auto prowl
- Always lock your car and take your keys with you.
- Do not hide a spare key on your vehicle.
- Roll up your windows completely.
- Put any valuables out of sight or lock them in the trunk.
- Park your car in your garage and lock it. Vehicles are least safe at the curb, more safe in the driveway and most safe in the garage.
- Remember to lock car doors while it's in the garage. And lock the garage door too.
- If you park in your driveway, back your car in. This way, any car thieves who open the hood to hot-wire the car are more visible from the street.
Away from home
- Avoid leaving a vehicle parked unattended in a public parking lot for a long time.
- To keep a thief from towing your car, avoid parking on street corners, and sharply turn your car's wheels toward the curb when you parallel park.
- If you park in a fee garage, take the pay ticket with you. Remember, it's your ticket out of the garage, but it could also be the thief's ticket out as well.
Take care of your paperwork!
- Carry your drivers' license, registration, and insurance card with you. Don't leave personal identification or credit cards (or receipts) in your vehicle.
- Write your license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN) on a card and keep it with your driver's license. In the case of an auto theft, being able to promptly provide this information to the police will be very helpful.
- Etch your VIN into the windshield and other parts of the car. This discourages car thieves from taking and then selling your car, and also aid in its recovery if it is stolen.
Beware of the "Bump and Rob"
It works like this. A car, usually with a driver and at least one passenger, rear-ends or "bumps" you in traffic. You get out to check the damage. The driver or one of the passengers jumps in your car and drives off. If you're bumped by another car, look around before you get out. Make sure there are other cars around, check out the car that's rear-ended you and who's in it. If the situation makes you uneasy, stay in the car and insist on moving to a police station or busy, well-lighted area to exchange information.