1. Take your Keys with you! Even if you’re just running in for a quickie snickers and a soda, leaving your keys in the car makes you a car thief’s best friend. What could be easier than walking up to an unlocked vehicle with no owner present and the keys sitting on the floorboard or worse the driver’s seat? Nothing… And even if the thief is caught he has strong legal grounds to claim he was simply joy-riding not stealing your car.
Bonus Tip #1: Now that you’re no longer leaving your keys in the car, there is no longer any reason to leave the car doors unlocked. (We call this a two- fer)
2. Drive a Manual! If you’re in the market for a new car, think about purchasing one with a Manual Transmission. The majority of Americans don’t know how to drive a stick, and if they can’t drive it they can’t steal it… Or generally won’t (my mother can’t drive a stick but has on occasion borrowed my truck and made due with her miniscule manual skills)
Bonus Tip #2: In the market for a new car? The 5 most stolen vehicles in America: Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Chevy Silverado, Toyota Camry, and the Toyota Corolla.
3. Install a Removable Steering Wheel. Much like our 2nd tip, if they can’t drive your car they aren’t going to steal it. Now I know that no one wants to be seen walking around with a steering wheel under their arm, but I’d rather walk around with a steering wheel under my arm occasionally than to be forced to walk daily. (There is always the bus, but I prefer my truck)
4. Install a Hidden Kill Switch! The toughest challenge for a car thief is getting the vehicle started without the manufacturer’s key. Without a kill switch the thief only has to beat your ignition… With a hidden kill switch installed far from the ignition, say under the passenger’s seat, the thief will have a much harder time getting the car started. Every second counts for a car thief so the longer it takes him to steal your car the more his confidence will drain and the greater the odds of a passerby seeing him.
5. Clean up after yourself! Leaving valuables strewn about your vehicle is a big no no. Most car thieves scout the cars they are going to boost. Question: Which would you rather steal, a clean car with nothing but an empty Starbucks coffee in the holder? Or a car that has an iPad sitting out, 3 usb cables coming from the dash and golf shoes on the back floorboard? (Odds are the clubs are in the trunk) Any car thief is going to go for the guaranteed money offered by car #2. I’m not a car thief, but dang if I don’t want a new iPad!
6. Slap on an Alarm Sticker. Even if you don’t have an alarm system, the simple fact that you have the sticker (in a highly visible location) will be enough to deter most car thieves. Go online and google car security images, download said picture have it printed on clear plastic and Voila! 75% of all thieves won’t give your vehicle a second glance.
Bonus Tip #3: While you’re at it, download and print a Brinks Home Security lawn sign or two for your house. Same theft prevention rules apply.
7. Stay vigilant during the months of July and August. These two months are by far the best (worst?) months for car thefts. I know it’s already September, and if your car wasn’t broken into great job! Just keep this one in the back of your mind for next year. Maybe it would be easier to just check back in with us on a regular basis that way you won’t be forced to remember this tip as we are here to remind you.
8. Disable your Vehicle! If parking for an extended period of time… Remove the Fuses. Before doing this, think about consulting with your mechanic and make sure to take a picture beforehand. That way when you return to your vehicle you aren’t playing a guessing game with your cars electronics. (Be prepared… That digital clock you only recently set correctly after 5 years of ownership is going to need re-setting)
9. Prevent theft by towing. Nowadays lots of professional car thieves have towing systems on their trucks for quick hookups and easy get-a-ways. You should always use your emergency brake whether driving an automatic or a manual. If you drive a manual also leave the vehicle in gear. Then turn the wheels toward the curb, effectively doing all one can to prevent an unwarranted tow.
10. Lastly, park your vehicle in a safe location! An open air, secure, visible from the street by passersby, video and guard surveyed parking location. A place like FLL Parksafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s best kept secret, where we have ZERO recorded car thefts. Our lots are checked at random intervals during the day to discourage any thieves looking for a routine to learn and video surveillance covers our entire parking lot. We have zero blind spots unlike most multi-level parking garages. And when you return from a long cruise, your safely parked car will be returned to you with a complimentary car wash, because we here at FLL Parksafe care about not only our customers safe parking needs, but their well-being and over-all attitude.