Preventing Summertime Car Thefts
July 9, 2014
The blossoming of summer is infectious—as the sun climbs higher in the sky, everyone ends their hibernation and stays outside more, taking advantage of the hotter temperatures and the longer days. Many people do this by driving more, whether on holiday or just to enjoy the weather. And more cars on the road inevitably results in more car thefts, since vehicle theft is a ‘crime of opportunity’, meaning that many thieves do not rely on advance planning and simply opt for the easiest car to steal at that moment. Thieves steal vehicles for four main reasons:
- Transport—to get to their next destination
- Selling them to a ‘chop shop’ which dismantles stolen vehicles and sells the parts
- Exporting them abroad
While no vehicles are completely theft-proof, the following best practices are effective ways to deter theft:
- Never exit your vehicle and leave the engine running, even if you will be gone only for a short time.
- Install a car alarm that sounds when the doors, bonnet or boot are opened.
- Use a steering wheel lock whenever you exit your vehicle—their visibility immediately discourages thieves.
- Park in well-lit areas rather than somewhere unattended so thieves are more easily spotted.
- Remove all property from view, including mobile phones, bags and electronics.
- Close all the windows, lock all the doors and remove keys from the ignition whenever exiting your vehicle.
- Keep your driving licence and registration documents on your person rather than in your vehicle to make it more difficult for thieves to sell your car.