Car theft is a common occurrence that impacts more than 750,000 drivers a year — that’s roughly one incident every 41 seconds. Want to secure your vehicle from being broken into or stolen? Here are a few ways to avoid problems, plus some guidance for what to do in the event of a loss.
Keeping Your Car Safe
By some estimates, more than half of vehicle break-ins are unknowingly enabled by car owners. If you know what conditions are most desirable for thieves, you can take the right steps to help secure your belongings.
Some general rules:
- Roll up and reinforce your windows. This will help prevent reach-in or smash-and-grab burglaries. Adding a protective film can also make windows tougher to break.
- Lock up when you leave. Even if you’re just running into the convenience store for a cup of coffee, be sure to lock your doors. Most break-ins happen in a matter of seconds.
- Park smart. Stick to well-lit areas, monitored parking garages and low-crime neighborhoods.
- Invest in an aftermarket car alarm. Most factory alarms only sound when the doors are opened. By contrast, a motion or tilt-sensor alarm can tell you when the car is experiencing movement of any kind.
- Take valuables with you and hide everything else. Don’t leave your belongings in plain sight. Keep your keys and anything of value on your person and hide everything else in your glove compartment or trunk.
What to Do Post Break-In
If you’ve experienced a break-in, reach out right away. Also make sure to take pictures, file a police report and make an insurance claim. If any credit cards were stolen, cancel them immediately.
Some car burglaries are unavoidable, but with a little vigilance you can minimize your chances of having to deal with a break-in.