Put These Numbers on Your Windshield, and Your Car Is Safe
It happens every 43.8 seconds. I’m talking about car theft in the USA! Yep, every minute someone loses their precious vehicle to crooks.
If you wanna learn more about these heart-breaking stats, here you go: over 800,000 car thefts were reported in the US in 2020 alone, and Ford Pickups win the award for the “Crooks’ choice,” since it was the one most frequently stolen. Also, New Year’s Day had the most thefts. Seems like we all need to keep an eye out for our cars.
First things first — it’s very unlikely that someone may steal your car while you’re on the move, but once you park it, it gets way easier. So, you need to park responsibly. Yeah, sometimes you might need to walk a bit more, but it’s worth it if it means leaving your car in a well-lit place.
Improperly parked cars are often taken away by tow trucks. Turns out, not all of them are real. So should you ever see one near your car, check whether it’s real or fake. A real tow truck should at least have some branding on it, and its crew should be wearing a uniform.
Remember I told you it’s not that easy to steal your car while you’re on the move? Sorry, but that’s only partly true. Carjackers don’t really care about the fact that you’re sitting in your car. The trick here is simple: even if you’re inside your vehicle, always make sure to lock your doors.
Carjackers often have shady schemes of how to lure car owners out of their vehicles. They may even set up a trap and sorta stage a car accident. So, even if you see that your car has been bumped from behind, do not rush out of it instantly to check on it. Just wait a little bit to pull over. Make sure the place where you stop is safe and there are people around you. In case you get suspicious, it’s better to call the police.
If you’re ready to shell out some money to protect your car, here’s some info. You can install a remote car starter. It’s not just a great thing for those who live in colder climates and who need to start their car beforehand. Its main advantage is that you can’t drive away with a car started like this, since this mode doesn’t allow you to shift gears.
Any car has a vehicle identification number or simply VIN. This one may seem pointless, but here’s a trick: when thieves sell a stolen car, they do VIN switching. It’s when they want to disguise a stolen vehicle and use another VIN from a similar car. But if you etch your VIN on each window of your vehicle, crooks will instantly see that you are interested in protecting your car. Plus, such a vehicle will seem “spoiled” for them.
After all, they would have to do the VIN switching, plus they’d have to come up with a plan on how to fix the windows as they have the VIN etched on them. They will probably need to change the windows altogether, and that’s pricey. So, reselling such a car would appear too time-consuming for crooks, and they aren’t willing to put in that much effort.
Come on, these guys don’t even work. They’re way too lazy to deal with those windows. By the way, some specialists can do this etching for you, so you don’t have to deal with it yourself.
By the way, if you wanna buy a used car, a VIN can help you a lot. Some cars are sorta “cloned”, which means their VIN isn’t real but was simply added to the plate manually, so you have to check all the documentation before buying a used car. Pay special attention to the DVLA V5 documents and make sure that the VIN there coincides with the VIN on the vehicle.
Here’s another protection gadget. It’s called a smart car alarm, and its sound is even nastier than the sound of an alarm clock. It can do two things. First — it makes a super loud sound that can both scare away intruders and attract witnesses. Second — it can send you an alert in case you somehow don’t hear the deafening sound it makes.
There’s another secret mechanism that can protect your car. You can install an emergency stop button that you can wire to the ignition, battery, fuel line, you name it. When you get out of the car, you simply need to flip the switch. Even if crooks steal your keys somehow, it won’t help them. They will need to find that switch to start the car first. And it’s up to you where to hide that switch.
We all know the more security you have in your car, the better. Crooks don’t like to mess with technologies, and the statistics prove it — Tesla, along with other hi-tech cars, were the least stolen ones over the last few years.
However, modern doesn’t mean safe and crook-proof. Many cool vehicles have engine management diagnostic ports. Sounds super convenient, but there’s a downside. These ports can help unlock and even start the vehicle. So, if your car has such a feature, consider getting a lockable cover.
Always check whether you’ve closed the windows before leaving your car. Even the smallest gap is enough for a crook to open the door and steal the car. Yeah, don’t tell me it’s obvious. I somehow see cars with open windows every single day!
If a crook really wants to, they can simply smash a window with a heavy object or even a rock. See what I’m driving at? Try not to make crooks WANT to open your car. That means there shouldn’t be any valuables visible. So please, no laptops or purses on the front seat. Hide them in the trunk, or take them with you, there are many options. Just don’t show thieves that there’s something they can steal from your car.
Keeping a spare key in the glove box isn’t the best idea either. Crooks know where to look for it. It’s really simple — they’ve opened the car — which isn’t that complicated — and they just open up the glove box, and they’re free to drive.
So let’s say you still keep your valuables in the car and a spare key in the glove box. You like it that way. Then consider installing a steering wheel lock. It’s probably not that functional, but experts believe it’s a working visual deterrent.
Remember how thieves are sorta lazy and don’t wanna mess with various gadgets? Specialists claim that crooks are more likely to pass by a car that has a steering wheel lock on it. Some of them are pretty functional, by the way! So even if a crook still wants to drive your car away, they won’t be able to. Plus, it’s not that easy to remove it.
Now for the most obvious tip. It’s CCTV. There’s a variety of such cameras today: they have night vision modes, people detection functions, and really high resolution — literally anything you might need! A real camera can help you watch your car 24/7, but in case you don’t feel like spending money on that, you can install a dummy and hope that the thieves won’t figure it out.
Okay, let’s imagine the worst: someone ignored all of these simple tips and got their car stolen. What should they do? First, they need to provide all the information to the police. So make sure you know the color — I know, it’s easy.
But please don’t use complicated wording while describing the car color — like, it’s not “moss” but rather “dark green”. You also need to know the year, make, and model — make sure you remember all of these. The police will also need to know your license plate number and VIN. If you don’t remember the VIN by heart, write a note on your phone just in case.