In ordinary circumstances, car theft is a common crime. But this pandemic has provided the perfect conditions for an increase in its frequency. So; wh
In ordinary circumstances, car theft is a common crime. But this pandemic has provided the perfect conditions for an increase in its frequency. So; what can you do to keep your car safe?
As people leave their cars unattended in driveways and parking garages for days on end, car thieves are finding it easier to steal them. Many cities are reporting an alarming increase in car thefts and break-ins over the last few months. Even in non-pandemic conditions, less than half the number of stolen cars are recovered. So, besides having reliable car insurance to make sure you’re covered if the worst happens, take every precaution to prevent a theft.
Car thieves tend to look for the easiest targets so they can make a quick getaway. The more difficult your car is to steal, the safer it is.
- Invest in an anti-theft system
Depending on its price tag, anti-theft systems offer a range of features from locking the steering wheel to completely immobilising your car during an attempted robbery. Depending on your budget, see which one you can get. In a pinch, even putting a sticker on your car that indicates you have an anti-theft system can warn away thieves. Flashing LEDs on the dashboard indicating that an alarm system is in place could also help.
- Keep your car locked
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we often leave our cars unlocked when we think we’re in a ‘safe zone’ like our own driveways or in garages. But it is always a good idea to keep your car locked. It’s the first thing that thieves check for. Even if you’re just stepping into the store at the petrol station for a few minutes or getting out to get something from the back, lock the doors. Many thieves lie in wait for such opportunities and drive off with your car in a flash.
Keep you ute back window locked too; many tradies have lost their tools this way.
- Keep an eye on your car
Ordinarily, car thefts are reported almost immediately which increases the chance of recovery. But since the pandemic, people use their cars less frequently and don’t realise immediately that their vehicles are missing. Reports are filed days after making it harder for the police to track the cars down. So, even if you park your car right in front of your house or in your own driveway, check on it at least once a day.
- Remove all valuables
Don’t leave valuables like laptops, phones or iPods inside your car. This makes it a more tempting target because those can fetch some money as well. If you absolutely have to leave them in there, put them away so they’re not in plain sight.
- Keep personal information out of your car
Don’t leave the papers for your car in the glovebox. Remove any personal identification information from your car, especially if it has your home address. It’s a good idea to keep your house keys on a separate ring from your car keys. In case someone drives off with your car, you don’t want to lose access to your home as well.
- Safe parking spot
Choose where you park your car very carefully. Well-lit areas that have CCTVs installed are safer. Whenever you get in or out of your car, be aware of your surroundings and the people present. Stay alert and unlock your car only when you feel it’s safe.
- Additional locks and security
Etching your vehicle’s registration number on each of your windows and windscreen makes your car a less tempting target. Since car thieves want to make the most profit, they will not want to go to the trouble of replacing the windows and glass.
It’s also worth investing in tyre/wheel locks, security screws and wheel lock nuts to prevent your valuable tyres and accessories from getting stolen. This is a really good idea if your car/ boat/ caravan are going to be sitting unused for a long period of time.
Just because you’re locked away doesn’t mean the criminals are
A car is incredibly useful to have, especially in these conditions when you need it for everything from dealing with an emergency to getting essentials. So, take every precaution to keep it safe. Be aware there are less-than-scrupulous people out there who are taking advantage of this lock-down to steal cars. A few simple measures will help keep your car safe until normal life resumes.