Professional thieves can steal any car, at anytime, from anywhere if they want it bad enough. With that said the majority of vehicle thefts reported are committed by thieves who target vehicles that offer the least amount of resistance when being stolen. To combat this type of vehicle theft, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends layering your vehicle's protection therefore making it more difficult to steal.
How many layers of protection do you need? Well, this number will vary and is entirely dependent on your personal preference. However, as you consider how many layers you need, take in account the make, model and age of your vehicle, your geographical location, your budget and what effort you are willing to put into using these layers all the time, every time. Each layers should offer some protection on its own, and increase the overall effectiveness of your vehicle's protection when used together.
Below are some examples of layers to begin with.
Layer #1- Common Sense- #ParkSmartAZ
An unlocked vehicle with a key in the ignition is an open invitation to any thief, regardless of which anti-theft device you use. The common sense approach to protection is the simplest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves.
- Lock your car - half of all vehicles stolen are left unlocked
- Take your keys and key fobs - nearly 30% of all vehicles stolen have the keys in them
- Park in well-lit areas - car thefts increase at night
- Park in attended lots - car thieves do not like witnesses
- NEVER leave your vehicle running and unattended
- Completely close your car windows- Even the smallest of openings can compromise its safety
- Do not leave valuables in plain view- I.E. Cell phones, purse, wallet, medication, money
- Remove all spare sets of keys from the car - even if it is does not belong to the vehicle it is in
- Always use your emergency brake when parking
- If you have a garage, use it - when you do, lock both the vehicle and the garage door
- Implement and use #9PMRoutineAZ
Layer #2- Warning Device
The second layer of protection is a visible and audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular second layer devices include:
- Audible alarms
- Steering wheel locks
- Steering column locks
- Brake locks
- Tire locks
- Watch Your Car decals
- Identification markers in or on vehicle - Make it yours! Distinguishing decals are easier to see.
- Protective Window Laminate - This make it more difficult to break the class.
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching on vehicle windows.
Layer #3 - Immobilizing Device
This third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity of fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated.
Popular third layer devices include:
- Smart keys & key fobs-
- High security locks & keys
- Fuse cut-offs
- Kill switches
- Starter, ignition and fuel disablers
Layer #4 - Tracking Device
The final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to a police or a monitoring company/service. Tracking devices are very effective in helping law enforcement authorities recover stolen vehicles. **Important** Do not attempt to follow your own vehicle. Your personal safety should be your priority and will be the priority of any responding officer should you locate your vehicle before they do. Remember thieves are criminals and criminals can be dangerous.