Each year, thousands of cars are stolen by both professional carjackers and petty criminals. Popular models of high-performance cars and modest sedans are preferred. Sports cars are typically exported overseas while more modest cars are often taken to chop shops, where they are disassembled for the sale of parts. Petty criminals usually steal cars for joy riding or for use as a getaway car. In these cases, stolen cars can often be recovered, but they may undergo extensive damage.
The good news is that there are tactics you can use to deter carjacking. Remember that carjackers want quick jobs. Anything you do to slow the time needed to steal your car helps to make it a less appealing target. Try the following five tips for car theft prevention:
- Lock it up: Close all the windows, including the sunroof, before leaving your car. Double check that you’ve locked your car. Though this is a good plan when parking, you may also wish to lock it up while driving through bad parts of town, particularly at night.
- Hide property: Criminals may break into your car to steal an iPod or an expensive purse. If you must leave valuables in your car, it’s best to leave them in the trunk where they can’t be seen. It’s even better if you hide these items before driving to your destination so people don’t see you putting items into your trunk.
- Park smart: Choose your parking spot wisely, particularly at night. Park in well-lit, populated areas whenever possible. If you notice people lurking, you may want to find a different location to park.
- Install an alarm: Most new cars come with anti-theft security systems, but it’s a good investment if your car doesn’t already have one. The sounding alarm can deter a theft for doing further damage and alert nearby people to call the police. As a bonus, having this safety feature may also qualify you for an auto insurance discount.
- Etch your VIN: To make your car parts less valuable to carjackers, consider etching your vehicle identification number (VIN) onto your window panels. You can also write or paint it under the engine hood, trunk lid and on the battery.
We want to keep your car safe just as much as you do. Call Peachstate Insurance at 877-997-2478 for more information on Atlanta auto insurance.