How to prevent car theft

Who is a typical car thief?

He's male, probably less than twenty years old, with a 60% chance that he is under 18. Of course, some cars are stolen by established criminal gangs involved in car stripping rings and by those wishing to use stolen cars to use as get away cars, but most cars are stolen by opportunists, like the 13 and 14 year olds who steal cars to show off or to Joy Ride.


Typically, your car is your second greatest investment after your home. And if you're like a lot of car enthusiasts, it's a source of pride and joy. One danger that thousands of people per year deal with is theft. Don't think for a minute that your vehicle cannot be stolen. The truth is that no car is theft-proof. A professional thief can steal virtually any car, anytime, and anywhere. So, how do you guard against the danger of theft? It's easier when you understand some of the characteristics of the crime.

The first step in understanding auto theft is learning that there are basically four reasons why vehicles are stolen:

  • For "Joy Riding" or
  • A means of getting the thief home (the car is then dumped)
  • For "Chop Shops" or
  • Stolen to order for export abroad.

While you are eating, sleeping, working, or otherwise preoccupied, a thief can take your car to use it, strip it, or ship it. You may be left with a car that has been driven, damaged or abandoned.

The second step in understanding auto theft is learning about the nature of the crime itself. Vehicle theft is a "crime of opportunity." With millions of vehicles to choose from, thieves usually opt for the "easiest car to steal" in the area. For a thief, the easiest car to steal is one that suits the thief's purposes, one that can be entered and started quickly, and one that can be moved from place to place undetected. Whether a thief is stealing any car in sight as a means of getting home, or is determined to steal a higher-priced luxury car, the specific car stolen will be the one that is easiest to take.

To illustrate this point, let us consider the following scenario. There are two similar Mercedes sitting in front of a Supermarket. One is locked, and the other is idling with the doors unlocked. Which one would a thief steal? Simple.

Let us change the scenario slightly. The same two cars are sitting in front of a Supermarket. This time, both cars are locked. However, one of the cars has a locking device attached to the steering wheel. Which one would a thief most likely steal? Now you begin to see the pattern of how this works. A thief will almost always take the easiest target.

When you begin installing "barriers," you make your car harder to steal. Remember, spending a fortune in an effort to make your car theft-proof is not the goal. The real goal is to make your car less inviting to a thief.

Alex Todd Brand Manager at Its4women commented "Never leave valuables like laptops, briefcases, purses, wallets or mobile phones in plain sight. These add incentive for a thief to steal your car, so lock them in the boot or take them with you. If your stereo has a removable face plate, take it with you."

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