Motor vehicle theft impacts upon our livelihoods, our ability to work, socialise, travel and complete our daily tasks. There are practical steps you can take to make your car a less appealing target to would-be thieves.
There are four easy steps that you can take to help secure your car.
Thieves can be tempted by your vehicle if they see valuable items on display.
Remove tempting items, such as GPS devices, mobile phones, handbags and electronic equipment, from view.
If you must leave items in your vehicle, make sure they are stored out of sight before arriving at your destination.
Protect your keys
If a thief can see your car keys there is a good chance they can steal them.
Keep your car keys secure at all times.
When out and about put keys safely in your handbag or pocket and avoid leaving them sitting on tables at cafés.
At home, put your keys out of view, in a draw or cupboard. It is also a good idea to store spare keys in a safe.
When in a hurry, it’s easy to forget about parking safely. This is however, a very important element in protecting your car from theft.
Always park in well-lit area that has good pedestrian traffic.
Avoid poorly lit car parks that are isolated as there is less risk of a theft being interrupted in such locations.
Use secure parking where available (e.g. garage, behind a fence).
Secure your vehicle
An engine immobiliser provides an effective car theft deterrent. If you don’t have an immobiliser you can still secure your vehicle by ensuring that all doors are locked, windows are closed and consider using a steering lock. Remember, it only takes a short time for someone to steal your car so ensure it is locked whenever it’s unattended. Be sure to lock your vehicle even if you’re only leaving it for a minute at the petrol station, shops and even at home.
Personal safety when travelling
Lock your doors any time you are in the vehicle. This provides increased safety for you should someone try to unexpectedly enter your vehicle.
Always have your keys ready when returning to your vehicle. You may become vulnerable if you have to stop and find your keys.
Remember that the atmosphere of a location can change between day and night. If you plan on returning to your vehicle after dark, park somewhere that is well lit.
Higher risk vehicles
Because of their ease of access, cars manufactured prior to 2001 are more at risk of theft. These cars often lack contemporary security measures such as central locking and engine immobilisers, making them a potential target to would-be thieves.
Most vehicle thefts are opportunistic. Many car thefts occur because a motivated offender observes a vehicle that they perceive will be easy to get into. Even simple steps to increase an offender’s efforts can have a significant impact on reducing car theft.
Did you know?
7 in 10 cars are stolen with their own keys.
Offenders will sneak into homes by taking advantage of unlocked doors and windows.
Offenders look for keys left in easily accessible places such as on a key hook or in a bowl near the door.
Often the homeowner is present, but unaware of the thief entering the home.
For this reason, we use the term ‘sneak thefts’ to describe these types of offences.
In most cases, thieves will actively avoid coming into contact with the homeowner. In fact, in 95 per cent of incidents the thief and homeowner never meet face to face.
To protect yourself from being a victim of this type of crime:
POP keys out of sight.
LOCK all doors and windows and make sure everyone in the family is doing the same.