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Auto Theft -- What You Can Do To Protect Your Vehicle
Auto theft is among the most prevalent crimes today. According to some studies, if you leave your car unlocked or place valuables in sight in the car, you have a one in thirty chance of having your car stolen.
However, if you lock your car, hide your valuables from sight and use an anti-theft device that can be seen from outside, the chances drop to one in thirty thousand!
Obviously, the actions you take have a direct bearing on how safe your vehicle is. Here are several things you can do minimize the risk of auto theft.
1. Use common sense. It should be obvious that a car that's unlocked with keys in the ignition is a very attractive target for thieves.
Even if you are parking your vehicle for just a few minutes, take the keys out of the ignition, close all windows and lock the doors. Try to park in a well-lit area, whenever possible. Don't display valuables / packages in plain sight inside your car.
At home, park in your garage, not outside.
2. Using a protection device helps. If it is a device that's plainly visible to would-be thieves, it has deterrent value too.
Such devices include audible alarms, brake and wheel locks, steering column collars, tire deflators and more.
3. Immobilizing devices offer good protection against theft. They can, for example, prevent thieves from hot wiring the car bypassing the ignition.
There are devices that can block the flow of electricity or fuel needed to run the car, till you press a hidden button.
Immobilization devices include smart keys that have computer chips inside them, fuse cutoffs, ignition kill switches, etc.
4. Have a tracking device installed. This device emits a radio signal that can be picked up by a monitoring center or by the police. If you car gets stolen, a tracking device can be invaluable to help recover the vehicle.
5. Keep garage doors locked even when you are home. Take care of your home security and make it difficult for burglars to get into your house or garage. That will reduce the risk of car theft as well.
6. Other things you can do include engraving your vehicle ID number on the windshield.
Some localities have a 'watch your car' program where special decals are displayed on the car. The authorities then have the right to pull the vehicle over and question the driver if the car is being driven at odd hours, such as between 1:00 am and 5:00 am. This helps because the majority of car thefts take place between these hours.
Make use of the simple tips above and you will significantly reduce the chances of your car being stolen.
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