Earlier this month, the National Insurance Crime Bureau released their analysis of vehicle thefts ranked by holiday, and New Year’s Day was at the top of the list. Just another reminder that while you may be relaxing and enjoying your holiday, vehicle thieves are working overtime. Here are some theft-protection tips that hopefully will prevent thieves from receiving a four wheeled holiday gift at your expense.
First, let’s not make it too easy for them. Lock your vehicle. By inviting thieves into you unlocked car, you’re just making it so much easier for them to get their job started.
Park in well-illuminated, high foot-traffic areas. Theft can happen almost anywhere, but it’s not as convenient for someone to steal in highly visible, well-lit places.
When shopping, store your packages covered or (better yet) in the trunk. Make a habit of putting your packages in the trunk as soon as you get to your car (instead of transferring them to your trunk at your next stop – where you’re effectively announcing to any onlookers that you’re leaving something potentially valuable in the trunk). Of course that’s true for any valuables, not just gifts or packages. Don’t tempt the thieves with visible cash or other goodies. Be conscious of mail you might have around too (you don’t want to wind up with a stolen identity in addition to your stolen car).
Don’t leave an extra set of keys in the car or in a magnetic container under the car. Thieves who are good at their job can be pretty good guessers when it comes to finding your clever hiding spots.
Remove your electronics whenever possible. Take that GPS device or stereo faceplate with you, or at least hide it away. Be aware of marks on windshields from suction GPS mounts. If you can see the mark, they can see it, too. And if they see it, they might be tempted to break in to see if that GPS is waiting for them in the glove box. And if you do leave the GPS in the car, make sure you don’t program the “home” location to your own address. Thieves who have enjoyed stealing your vehicle might consider visiting your home for a second helping of your generosity.