Unfortunately, vehicle burglaries are all too common. Luckily, there are several precautions you can take to deter thieves and keep them away from your vehicle and its contents.
Hide expensive belongings.
Many of us carry laptops, wallets, phones and other valuables in our cars for daily use. However, you should be extra cautious with where you leave them.
A thief will be much more inclined to break into your vehicle if they see an expensive laptop sitting in your back seat. Use a jersey or blanket to hide your expensive belongings when you leave the vehicle. Or even better, take these items with you. This will make your car less of a target.
Park in a safe area.
Parking your vehicle in a busy, crowded area will reduce the chance of a thief targeting it. When a car is parked on its own, it will stand out more, drawing possibly unwanted attention.
If possible, use a garage at night. If you do not have a garage, we recommend that you park in your driveway. If your car is near you, you will be able to hear if anyone approaches it.
Avoid empty streets, particularly in central parts of the city. If you know that an area has a high crime-rate, consider parking somewhere safer.
Apply an alarm sticker to your vehicle.
When you have a car alarm installed, it will usually come with a sticker that you can use to warn thieves. Luckily, you don’t need to install an alarm system to scare unwanted intruders away. You can buy warning stickers that will make thieves think twice about targeting your vehicle.
Check that it’s locked, then check again.
This one might seem obvious, but sometimes locking your vehicle becomes such a small, thoughtless task that we forget about it entirely. Make a conscious effort to lock your vehicle every time you leave it alone, even if you are only gone for five minutes.
If you suddenly become unsure about whether your vehicle is locked, it is always best to go back and double-check.
Keep an eye on your keys.
Often, the easiest way for a thief to gain access to your car is by taking the keys themselves. Always keep your keys in your pocket while you are away from home. If your clothing does not have pockets, keep the keys within plain sight, especially if you are around people you do not know or trust. When at home, try not to put your car keys in an obvious place for convenience, as this makes it too easy for a burglar to find your keys and steal your vehicle.
Identify and fix security hazards.
Does one of your doors not lock properly? Does one of the windows not wind up completely? These are important issues that could result in your car being targeted, especially if they stand out. You should try to fix these issues as soon as possible to reduce the risk of theft. Prior to the issues being fixed, take extra care with your expensive belongings, taking them out of the car with you.
Other Security Options
If you have a vehicle that is highly sought after by thieves, then you could also consider some of the following extra security options. These extra security options might be the difference between a thief targeting your vehicles, or thinking yours is too hard and moving on to an easier target.
Steering Wheel Locks help prevent your car being stolen by helping to prevent the steering wheel being turned, making it impossible to drive. Wheel lock nuts make it more difficult for thieves to steal your wheels, by requiring a special key or lock nut device to be able to remove wheel nuts from your vehicle.
If you have a modern car stereo you want to protect, consider removing the “face plate” from the stereo when parked in areas of higher security risk.
What to do if your car is stolen / broken into:
No matter how much you try and deter thieves, there is still a possibility that your vehicle will be targeted. If your car is broken into, contact the police and your insurance company (if you have one) as soon as possible.
If your vehicle is taken, contact the police immediately so that the vehicle can be classed as stolen. If the police know about the theft, they may be able to help you find the car before the thief flees the scene. Keep an eye on websites such as Facebook and Trademe for not just your car itself, but different parts such as tyres, stereos and valuable items that were in the car.