Auto Theft / Carjacking
n 2013, an estimated over 699,000 motor vehicles were stolen. While most of these were parked cars or cars left unattended, a small percentage was from "Carjacking." Carjacking is the theft of a car by force, usually with a weapon. This can happen while at a stop sign or light, and the thief demands you hand over your car. Here are some helpful tips for preventing both Auto Theft and the more dangerous Carjacking.
- Never leave a car unlocked. Just because a thief doesn’t have a key, doesn’t mean they can’t drive the car. Make sure to always fully secure a vehicle by closing all windows, doors, and trunks.
- Don’t leave spare car keys in the car.
- Have a copy of your car’s VIN and other important paperwork in a safe place at home.
- Never leave a car running unattended. A key in the ignition is a jackpot for a thief.
- Make sure your car alarm is in working order.
- Check and see if your car can get laminated glass and specialized locks to prevent hot wiring.
- Personal identification on a vehicle can help find it, such as stickers on your bumper or back window.
- Look into smart keys, high security locks, kill switches, and more for added protection.
- Make sure if you lose your keys to replace the locks and ignition on your car ASAP.
Before Entering Your Vehicle
- Be sure to park in a well-lit area, especially at night.
- Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the environment around you.
- If someone suspicious is loitering around your call, call law enforcement or security.
- Always have your keys in your hand as you leave.
- Keep doors and windows locked.
- Store your valuables out of sight.
- Be sure in traffic at stops to leave enough room to maneuver quickly if needed.
- If you are in your car and see someone walking around your house, drive around the block until they leave. If they don’t, call the police.
- Be alert to pedestrians. If someone approaches your window, honk the horn and attempt to drive away safely.
Remember personal safety comes first! If it’s a choice between you or the car, you can always replace a car!