How easy would it be for a thief to steal your car as you normally leave it in public? Think about this.
An article at chicago.suntimes.com says that seven people were recently arrested for motor vehicle burglaries in a week's time-in Evanston, IL-and all the targeted vehicles were unlocked.
Part of this string of Evanston thefts involved a car with its glove compartment opened, its contents on the seat. The teen thieves weren't too bright; they were hanging around in a nearby alley when the police discovered them. One had someone else's debit card and watch. The owner of these items said they'd been stolen from his vehicle in a different case.
You may not keep valuables in your car, but this doesn't mean that someone won't want to steal the actual car. It's a myth that car thieves want only expensive cars. Some criminals just want an easy vehicle to get away in.
Imagine how scary it would be to walk into a parking lot after you ate at a restaurant or did a little shopping, only to see that your car is not in the spot you parked it in; it's nowhere to be seen. This once happened to me. A few days later the police located my abandoned car.
Happy ending, right? Not quite. It was useless junk. And the insurance company wouldn't compensate me for what it was worth. The thief or thieves caused $4,000 worth of damage; the insurance company paid only $700.
- Always keep the doors locked, even when you're inside the vehicle.
- I don't care how hot it is outside, when you leave the vehicle, make sure the windows are up all the way. Lowering them two inches on a 90-degree day won't make much difference-except to a thief.
- Never leave valuables in sight, even if it's just an empty purse. A thief doesn't know it's empty and will be tempted to break in.
- Never leave the vehicle running if you're not there. I don't care if your trip inside the store is only "for a few minutes." It takes way less than this amount of time for someone to take off in your car.
- You can add yet another layer of security to your vehicle if you have a remote locking system.
- Steering wheel and brake locks will deter some thieves, but not all; I recommend them but only as part of a comprehensive security plan for your vehicle.
- Get an alarm for your vehicle. They also can come with a kill switch.
- Sign up with a service that can track your vehicle if it's stolen.