Passive and active anti-theft devices are the two options available when considering an anti-theft system. Passive devices automatically arm themselves when the vehicle is turned off, the ignition key removed, or a door is shut. No additional action is required. Active devices require some independent physical action before they are set, such as pushing a button, or placing a "lock" over a vehicle component part. This physical action must be repeated every time the anti-theft device is set or it will not function.
While you may not be able to prevent your vehicle from being stolen, despite every precaution, you can take many of the following steps in advance. Being prepared may ultimately help law enforcement recover your vehicle more quickly and reduce your expenses.
- If you discover that your vehicle has been stolen, notify law enforcement immediately. Speed is essential in recovering stolen cars; any delay in reporting only helps the thieves. Be prepared to provide the vehicle's make, model, color, license plate number, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).
- Keep a photocopy of your vehicle registration and insurance card in your wallet or at home. This will enable you to provide information quickly to law enforcement and your insurance claims agent.
- Make your vehicle easier to identify. One way is to write your initials on an index card and drop it in the window slot, or carefully engrave your initials inside the trunk, hood, or even the dashboard near the VIN number.
- Etch the VIN number on all window glass of the vehicle.
- Review your insurance policy annually. Don't wait until after your vehicle is stolen to find out you don't have the coverage you think you have. Owners are advised to review their auto insurance policies once a year, including coverage you must have, coverage you'll probably need, and additional types of coverage, including roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.
- Exercise caution if you see someone tampering with your car. Call 911 as quickly as possible.