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Hey, You! That’s Mine!

Part V of the Auto Saving Series. If you missed a segment, start at the beginning.

Have you ever considered how protecting your car from theft could save you money? Time for you to talk to someone who has had one stolen…more than once. The aftermath of a stolen car includes such expensive ventures as rental cars, insurance deductibles (and increased rates) and repairs (when you get the car back at all).

Collateral damage of a drug-related theft

Image via Wikipedia

A car is stolen every 26.4 seconds in America.¹ Common sense and some anti-theft devices will help you avoid auto theft.

Devices

When you buy a new car, consider some anti-theft features. If you are buying a used car, try some upgrades or mechanical devices.

  • Alarms

Siren car alarms, or silent alarms which signal law enforcement, are the most standard of anti-theft devices. When a thief tampers with the car, especially door locks and the steering column or tries to “hot wire” the car, the alarm sounds.

  • Pressing a button on the key unlocks all of th...

    Image via Wikipedia

    Keyless (Remote) door/hatch locks

This has become industry standard for new cars, but can be easily retrofitted to older cars. The car locks are activated by a remote control: not a key in the door. Without the key chain remote, the windows must be broken to get into the car.

  • Vehicle immobilizer

These sophisticated companions to car alarms disable portions of the electrical or fuel systems, making it impossible for a would-be thief to drive the stolen car.

  • Keyless ignition

Buttons on key chain remotes control these ignitions. More expensive versions of the keyless ignition are voice-controlled or push-button inside the car with driver identity recognition. More new cars today offer this option.

 Mechanical devices & Locators 

Whether unseen or blatantly obvious, mechanical devices can stop a thief from taking a joy ride in your car.

  • Steering Wheel & Tire Locks

Wheel Club Image by car-truck-accessories.com

Steering wheel and tire locks (tire boot) prevent car thieves from moving cars by preventing the motion of the steering wheel or the tires. The Club offers anti-theft products including its original steering wheel lock and Wheel Club.

Other choices include: Wolo Krook Lock, Lawman Unbreakable Car Bar, UNBREAKABLE AutoLock, The Wrap and SuperHooks

  • GPS locator

The two leading companies in locating stolen cars: OnStar and LoJack.

OnStar is a subscription service offered on all new General Motors (GM) cars sold in the US and Canada after 2007. Drivers receive remote activated door unlock, lights and horn and stolen vehicle location.²

LoJack is a theft recovery system. If the car is stolen and reported to the police, LoJack police tracking units can follow the signal of the radio transmitter to the location of the car.

All LoJack transmitters are registered in a global police database. 90% of all LoJack equipped stolen cars are recovered. ³

  • Window tint

Where laws allow, window tint protects a car from theft by preventing a thief from seeing how to get into the car without being noticed.

Common sense

This is another ounce of prevention. Using your head when leaving your vehicle is the most effective deterrent to auto theft.

  • Global Aero Car Rental Parking for rental car

    Image via Wikipedia

    Park safely

Park in a well-lit area. Park close to walkways to prevent the thief from having uninterrupted time to steal the car.

  • Turn it off

Never leave a running car unattended. It only takes a moment to drive away.

  • Hide assets

Place valuables, like laptops and shopping bags, in the trunk or glove compartment. Cars with visible valuables are more enticing.

  • Lock doors and close windows

Thieves will try handles to find the easiest car to steal. If a thief can reach in the window and open the door, he will.

  • Keys in your pocket

Thieves know where keys are hidden on a car. Better (and cheaper) to be locked out of your car than have your car stolen.

  • Car engine.

    Image via Wikipedia

    Disable the ignition

If the car will be parked for more than 24 hours or in a theft area, don’t let it drive away.

Beginner: Disconnect one battery cable.
Intermediate: Unplug the distributor cap.
Advanced: Remove the distributor rotor.

Keep your car from becoming a statistic by choosing anti-theft devices and exercising common sense.

¹ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Uniform Crime Report: 2006

² OnStar by GM

³ LoJack Global Licensee Network

~~~~~~~~~~

How do you protect your car from theft?

~~~~~~~~~~

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2009-2011
Reblogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available in The Office. 



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  1. James Parsons

     /  November 25, 2011

    I have never had a car stolen and hope I never do. These devices you mention work great if people would use them properly. The other tips work fine also if people would use some common sense and lock it up.Good as always, thanks again Red.

    Reply
    • The biggest thing every car owner needs to do is be aware of their surroundings, where they park their cars and the adage “a ten cent lock keeps and honest man out!” Thanks for stopping by to comment, Red.

      Reply
  2. I fussed and fussed at my youngest father for his habit of leaving the windows down and the keys in the car while he was working. He argued it was perfectly safe, he was after all parked right beside the building with people in and out the back door to go deliver pizza’s. Well, one day he was delivering picked up a stranger (another thing I had fussed about), well the car overheated so he left it running when he got back. Long enough he thought to go get water…………His car left without him, when it was recovered I made him junk it. There was water in the tailpipe……it can be cheaper to replace a car than to have an engine replaced, especially when the law requires that you keep insurance on or pay a fine for not having insurance when it’s finally running again. He uses common sense now, at least when it comes to leaving the keys in the ignition. He has since realized that just because a judge orders someone to pay restitution it does not mean they actually will.

    Reply
    • Oh, ouch! You were right about the keys and the windows. It is not the people who you see everyday you have to worry about…Sadly, many people believe when Court order offenders to pay restitution it comes out of some judicial fund, and the offender must pay back the fund. In fact, restitution comes directly from the offender to the judicial mediary. the mediary pays, but only after they get the money from the offender. More sadly, many offenders pay only the fines (if anything at all) and do not pay the money to their victims.

      Glad he learned the lesson, but sad he had to learn it the really, really, really hard way! Red.

      Reply
      • The cute part was watching the “grown” man argue that it was normal for water to blow out the tail pipe when you turned the car on. It was too funny, strangely I think the fact that the dash was ripped apart to take his radio was the part that stung him the most. They sell them all day long.

        Reply
  3. bear

     /  November 25, 2011

    Good one RED Let’s take this a step further… if you have a car alarm installed, make sure it has a panic button. Most of them do except for the most inexpensive units. Let’s say you are a young vibrant girl walking to your car in a large parking lot and some creepy old guy grabs you. If you have your keys in your hand, hit the panic button and draw attention to yourself. Hopefully the creepy old guy slithers off. Again, good writing. Bear

    Reply
    • Great point. Industry standard now is all have panic buttons. This falls in the common sense category. For personal safety, one should always have keys in hand when walking to a vehicle in a parking lot. Even if you do not have a panic button, keys make a powerful weapon when clinched in a fist. If you want to know more, just ask. I have personal experience with this one. Red.

      Reply
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