Security and Safety

6 Tips for Deterring Car Thieves

By Brian Kendall 12.19.16

While the holidays mark the season of giving, they also mark the season of taking. With the back seats and trunks of cars filled with gifts for loved ones, it’s easy to see why December is a popular time of the year for break-ins. While you’ve probably heard several of these tips before, they bear repeating to ensure you have a theft-free holiday.

1. Keep Your Doors Locked

This advice may seem obvious, but many people claim it doesn’t matter if you lock your car doors or not — whoever wants to get in will find a way, regardless. But unlocked doors are basically an invitation for theft. Lock them as a deterrent to thieves looking for an easy target.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking that shopping centers and parking lots are the only place your vehicle is vulnerable — your neighborhood street and driveway are also targets. In fact, in residential areas, theft from parked cars accounts for almost 36 percent of all reported larcenies. So, be sure to keep your doors locked no matter where you’re parked.

2. Don’t Crack Windows

You would be surprised how little room is needed for a thief to wiggle their fingers into a cracked window and rock it off its track — giving them an opening to both your car and your belongings.

3. Hide Gifts and Valuables

Seeing a bag with a high-end logo or recognizable gift wrapping makes breaking in far more appealing since criminals know they’ll likely strike gold. Conversely, if you place your gifts out of sight, and particularly in your trunk, this significantly reduces the likelihood your car will be a target. Most thefts happen in less than a minute, giving thieves little time to open your trunk. Also, be sure to relocate items to your trunk before reaching your destination — you never know who’s paying attention to you!

4. Reduce Visibility When Unloading

When you return home after a long day of shopping, reduce the visibility of your new purchases to unwanted eyes by pulling into your garage and shutting the door before unloading the car. If you don’t have a garage, just be sure not to leave your vehicle unattended or car doors open as that can be an invitation for theft right in your own driveway.

5. Mount a Dashboard Light

In an interview with the Boston Globe, police officer Michael Santry recommends installing a car alarm with a blinking light on your dash. This warns criminals of the alarm, and they’ll likely avoid breaking in altogether. Don’t want to splurge on an alarm system? You can get this solar-powered warning light from Amazon to thwart potential thieves.

6. Park in a Well-Lit Area

Leaving your vehicle in the shadows makes it far easier for a burglar to break in unnoticed. Make sure you find an area of a store parking lot that’s well-lit if you’re doing any late-night shopping. This creates a spotlight that burglars are likely to avoid.

While these tips will make it difficult for someone to break into your car, no plan is foolproof. To protect yourself from potential burglary, make sure you’re covered with reliable auto insurance from Texas Farm Bureau Insurance. Schedule a 360 Review with your Agent today to discuss your policy coverage.

Thieves go for more than just holiday presents during the holidays — turn your vehicle into a thief-proof fortress with these tips.

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