Skip to main Content

Auto Theft Prevention

While there is no foolproof way to safeguard a vehicle against theft, there are many “no cost” deterrents owners can use to protect themselves and their automobiles. For example, a thief's greatest enemy is time. The more difficult your vehicle is to steal, the longer it takes to be stolen. The longer it takes, the more likely it is that the thief will move on to an easier target.

Don't become complacent because you drive an older-model vehicle. Older vehicles can be resold quickly or stripped for parts. A vehicle's parts are worth two or three times the value of the vehicle.

Here are some tips to help protect you and your vehicle:

  • Close all windows, lock all doors and take the keys with you.
  • Never hide a second set of keys anywhere on your vehicle. Thieves know all the hiding places.
  • Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will only be gone for a minute; Vehicles are commonly stolen at convenience stores, gas stations and ATMs.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • Use your garage; lock both the vehicle and the garage. Locking both doors greatly reduces the chance of theft.
  • Keep your garage door opener with you. The thief may attempt to get into your house.
  • Park in attended lots. Thieves don't like witnesses.
  • Put all packages and personal items out of sight. Items left in the open make your vehicle a more desirable target.
  • Have your VIN number etched onto your windows. This makes it difficult for a thief to switch VIN numbers on a stolen vehicle.

Prevention Devices

An anti-theft device is a device that helps prevent vandalism to or theft of a motor vehicle and its contents. They can be locking devices, cut-off devices, alarms, sensors or tracking devices. Other methods of anti-theft protection include etching of the vehicle identification number (VIN). Many insurance companies give discounts for each method used.

Types of locking devices

  • Steering Wheel Bar Lock — The most popular is The Club, a steel bar that clamps on the steering wheel and makes the vehicle impossible to steer. They are an effective deterrent because of their imposing presence on the steering wheel.
  • Steering Column Collar — Protects entry to the ignition through the column.
  • Tire/Wheel Locks — Tool wraps around the tire or wheel to immobilize the vehicle.
  • Gearshift Lock — Locks gearshift in place, making it impossible to shift transmission into gear.
  • Ignition Kill Switch — Toggle switch is spliced into the ignition that disables the vehicle when the switch is “off.”
  • Fuel Kill Switch — Switch is spliced into the fuel system wiring that halts fuel supply when “off.”
  • Alarm — A motor vehicle's horn, bell, siren or other sounding device that is easily audible at 300 feet.
End of page