Tips on How to Prevent Auto Theft
Criminals often target vehicles that are unlocked and/or vehicles which display valuable contents inside. Take the time to properly secure your property and prevent a vehicle entry from happing to you!
Tips to help decrease the opportunity for criminals to steal from your vehicle
- Always remove the keys, roll up the windows and lock your vehicle when it’s unattended.
- Do not leave valuable items in your vehicle; however, if this is unavoidable, ensure valuables are concealed from plain view.
- Don’t leave personal identification, credit cards, vehicle registration or insurance slips in your vehicle.
- Park in well lit areas – if you park in your driveway or carport, try to leave the outside lights on home throughout the night, or install a motion light.
- Do not leave a garage door opener in your vehicle – this may provide the suspect access into your home.
- Consider installing an alarm/anti-theft device on your vehicle.
If your vehicle has been broken into:
Report it to the police at (905)546-4925. Have the following vehicle information ready:
- Plate number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Insurance company & policy number
- List of contents of the vehicle
Preventing Auto Theft
A car thief can steal your car in less than 30 seconds – without a key! Although no set of security measures are 100% effective, they can help reduce the risk of vehicle theft.
- Always lock your vehicle and close your windows.
- Park in well-lit, well attended areas whenever possible.
- Remove GPS, cell phone and other electronic accessories from view when leaving your vehicle.
- Lock all valuables in your trunk, out of sight. If you can’t, take your valuables with you.
- When parking, turn your wheels and set your parking brake to make towing your vehicle more difficult.
- Permanently etch the Vehicle Identification Number onto the windows of your car.
- Utilize an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock, a kill switch, an immobilizer, alarm and/or tracking system.
- Use your garage for parking your vehicle.
- Leave the original vehicle ownership, insurance or your driver’s licence in your vehicle.
- Hide spare vehicle keys in the vehicle or on the vehicle’s exterior. Thieves know where to find them!
- Leave your vehicle running.
No one wants to be victimized by crime, particularly the automotive variety, as important possessions are often left behind in a vehicle’s interior that can be life-altering if tampered with. What’s more, an automobile all alone is one of the biggest purchases people make in their lifetime.
To avoid being targeted, the NICB offers a few basic tips:
Install authentic alarm system
Today, many vehicles come with programs already installed that send out an audible horn honk or squeal when car door locks are tampered with. But because these often turn out to be false alarms – stemming frequently from young children playing with their parents’ key fobs – they’re not as effective as they used to be, simply because passersby have grown accustomed to them being false positives. The NICB recommends implementing a theft-avoidance system with some teeth. Examples include steering column collars, brake locks, VIN etching and micro dot marking. VIN etching has proven to be an effective countermeasure because a car’s vehicle identification number winds up deterring thieves from stealing, once the VIN has been stenciled onto other parts of the vehicle. When parts are stamped with a VIN, they’re less valuable on the black market.
Use common sense
It ought to go without saying, but you should always lock the doors and close the windows whenever you’re away from your vehicle. This includes when you’re at home and the car is in the driveway. Thieves are increasingly brazen and will frequently penetrate a car’s interior when cars are parked in owners’ own backyards. Additionally, be sure to always remove the keys from the ignition, as this too is something that drivers will forget to do from time to time. This is especially true during winter, when motorists warm up the car before heading to work. In many states, it’s illegal to have your car running when it’s unattended. Washington and Oregon are among them.