8 Life Hacks That Can Save Your Car From Theft

You are probably aware of GPS-trackers, steering lockers, and other standard anti-theft items if you own a car. But in order to be ready for anything, it’s better to learn about the additional protection available to make your car less attractive to thieves. It’s useful to know the typical methods of theft and to be able to recognize the signs that someone is planning to steal your car.

Mark the glass.

Windshields, windows, and mirrors can be marked with a VIN number, also known as the identification number of the vehicle.

This service doesn’t cost much and decreases the risk of theft significantly. A malefactor will have to spend time and money to change the marked glass. It decreases the profit of a theft.

Install a baby monitor in the car.

This unexpected anti-theft gadget can be quite useful because you will be able to hear everything that is happening in the car. Criminals won’t be able to open the door unnoticeably and start the engine without attracting attention.

The presence of a visible camera can scare off thieves immediately. It’s much simpler to steal a vehicle that won’t alert its owners for some time.

Also, you can scare off thieves by installing a very loud siren in the car that reacts to the slightest motion.

Hide your old phone in the car.

If you know that you’ll have to leave the car in an unusual place and you are not sure about its safety, hide an old switched on phone or tablet in it.

Remember to synchronize it with your Google account in advance: if you have an email box, log into it from your computer or phone.

If you need to track the location of the vehicle, the function “Find my phone” will do it in less than a minute provided that the tablet or phone is connected to the Internet.

Keep your wheels turned toward the curb when parked.

Policemen recommend keeping wheels turned toward the curb wherever your park. It will complicate the auto towing for those who steal cars with a tow truck.

In order to steal a car, a criminal will have to make additional maneuvers — all this will take time and therefore, decrease their interest in the car.

Keep your keys in foil.

There are gadgets available that catch signals and are widely used by criminals for stealing cars without a key.

For example, if the car is parked in a garage of a private house or under the windows of a multi-story building, the keys are accessible through the radio device. Thieves can easily intercept the signal, and the owner of the car won’t notice anything. According to experts, in order to protect your keys from “relay” attacks, you should use something metallic since metal blocks signals.

That’s why instead of hanging keys near the front door, it’s better to place them in:

  • foil
  • the fridge
  • a microwave oven
  • a Faraday wallet

Remember the typical schemes of theft.

A small accident: The task is to distract the driver and steal the car while the driver is in shock. For this purpose, a malefactor slightly bumps into a victim’s car without doing too much harm.

That’s why if you bump into someone’s car or someone bumps into your car, you shouldn’t lose your awareness: close the windows, lock the car doors, and call the police. Don’t leave the car doors wide open and control your emotions.

Distracting attention: A piece of paper stuck to the rearview window, a can tied to the silencer, or a plastic bottle over the wheel, are all small things that can entice the driver to get out of the car.

These things can also be used against you when a criminal pretends to “do something kind for you”. For example, they may stop to show you that there is something under the car.

Don’t make things easy for a thief.

According to statistics, cars are most often stolen from public parking lots, gas stations, crossroads or near ATMs. The police recommend the following:

  • Look inside and under the car before sitting in it.
  • Don’t travel alone especially at night.
  • Trust your instincts — if you feel that something is wrong, leave.
  • Drive in one of the middle lanes.
  • If you see that there is a suspicious person moving toward you, drive away carefully.
  • Don’t stop to help strangers.
  • If you do stop, leave some room for a maneuver.

Don’t park in a spot with bad visibility and don’t jump out of the car even if it’s just for a moment to buy something in a shop without stopping the engine. If you need to get out, always stop the engine, close the windows, and lock the doors.

If you live in a private house, don’t leave the keys near the front door.

Divert attention.

Installing a GPS-tracker in an unusual place can be a good solution, as well as installing a steering locker. This method can divert the attention of a thief: after overcoming one obstacle, they probably won’t be looking for other protective items in the car.

There are known cases when this has really helped — the car was found and returned to the owner within 24 hours.

Bonus: How to know that a car is planning to be stolen

1. Strange calls.

If you get a call from a company that has allegedly installed an alarm system, locks or something else into your car, never answer the questions about safety. Malefactors can ask you about the type of system as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

2. Your alarm works differently than usual.

If you can’t lock the car when you are trying to lock it in some public place, there is a chance that someone is trying to intercept the signal. The best option is to leave this place.

3. You have left your car locked near your home in the evening and in the morning you find it unlocked.

Transcoding the alarm won’t help. If possible, set up video surveillance and use the paid parking.

4. Someone is persistently asking for your help.

This is one of the simplest theft methods in order to get the driver out of the car. That’s why the malefactor will do anything to distract your attention.

It can be a well-dressed man that needs help with his kids or a person dressed like a janitor or a security guard. It can be anyone.

Never open your car window more than 1 inch and never leave the car. Even if you are offered 17th-century coins from workers that allegedly found them at a construction site. No matter what happens, your security is the priority!

Car theft is a situation that no one can be fully ready for. We wish that troubles pass you by and that our recommendations help you stay fully alarmed and prepared so that you can avoid these problems.

Please note: This article was updated in March 2023 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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