At the end of an exhausting, but revitalizing workout at the gym, you pack your workout gear into a duffle bag and exit the building. The cool, crisp autumn air invigorates your soul as the promise of an enjoyable Friday night with friends beckons you forward. As you approach the spot where you parked your car, you discover another in its place. A sense of dread fills your mind as you frantically search the parking lot in the off chance you parked in another location, but your car is nowhere to be found. Despair washes over you as you realize that your vehicle and all its contents, including a laptop, camera, and important work documents were stolen.
This type of scenario happens every day all across the country. It’s an unfortunate situation that costs valuable time and the expense of an insurance deductible for victims of car theft. For those victims without comprehensive insurance coverage, it could mean losing the only mode of transportation the person has without the means to replace it.
Thieves often look for the easiest targets to steal. The less time it takes to steal an object, the lower the risk that the thief will get caught in the act. While it’s unlikely a vehicle owner can remove all possibility of theft, it is possible to reduce the odds that your vehicle will be stolen by increasing the time it takes a thief to steal it.
Time is not on a criminal’s side. The more time you cost a criminal, the greater the risk of capture the criminal takes to steal your property. Here are a few tips that can help increase the time it takes a criminal to steal your car and reduce the chance that it will be stolen:
- Close the windows. This costs nothing to implement, but will keep a thief from easily reaching in and unlocking the door.
- Lock the doors. It doesn’t matter where a person parks, there is a thief somewhere nearby that is more than willing to take advantage of an easy target. A locked door increases the time it takes for a thief to steal a vehicle.
- Install an alarm system with a visible activation light. Alarms can cost as little at $25 plus installation and can warn thieves that it will take extra time to steal your vehicle. It will also attract the attention of passersby which will increase the odds that someone will call the authorities to report the break-in.
- Attach a steering wheel lock device before exiting your vehicle. These devices can cost as little as $20, have no installation expense and will prevent a thief from steering your automobile. It’s a visible warning to thieves that they’ll have to invest extra time to steal your property.
- Add a hidden kill switch. This device kills the flow of electricity to your car and prevents someone from starting it. As with a car alarm, it’s best to have an expert install it to make sure it works properly. Unlike the suggestions above, a kill switch won’t prevent thieves from breaking into your car, but it will stop them from easily starting it.
Some people choose not to commit the time or resources into adding measures of security to their vehicles. Eventually, that decision may ultimately cost far more than what it takes to implement them.
Regret can be expensive. Prevention isn’t. Takes the steps necessary to protect your vehicle today to avoid more costly consequences in the future.