Car theft rates have soared in 2023, reaching unprecedented levels. A recent study by the Council on Criminal Justice shows that, while other crime rates have generally decreased, motor vehicle thefts surged by 34% in the first half of the year. Baltimore stands out with a staggering 4,000 vehicles stolen just this year. It’s been a tough year for vehicle owners in Maryland. If you reside in or plan to visit this picturesque state, it’s important to optimize your car’s security. To help protect your vehicle, consider these effective security measures:
Lock Your Vehicle and Take The Keys With You At All Times
Did you know that many vehicles are stolen due to simple oversight? It might seem surprising, but there have likely been times you forgot to lock your car doors. This oversight gives car thieves easy access, and often bystanders don’t notice because no alarms sound. Ensuring your car doors are locked and double-checking them is paramount for vehicle safety. Whether you’re heading into a long meeting or just picking up coffee, make it a ritual.
Carry or Hide Your Valuables
Thieves are often attracted to visible valuables inside a car. If they see items left out, they’re more likely to attempt a break-in, and sometimes this can escalate to further damage or theft of the vehicle itself. One protective measure is using an opaque cover for your windows and windshield, making it harder to peer inside. Even a simple solution, like draping a blanket over larger items, can deter prying eyes. While the trunk of your car is generally a safer place for valuables, it’s always locked. Ideally, if feasible, always take high-value items like phones and laptops with you.
Make use of Anti-theft Devices
Unprotected cars are more susceptible to theft than those with visible or audible deterrents. Modern security systems have been effective in deterring car thieves. Experts advise investing in tried-and-true security devices, such as car alarms and steering wheel locks. You can contact a 24 hour car locksmith for more assistance on this matter. Alarms with loud sirens can effectively deter thieves, as they don’t want to attract attention. These devices not only protect your vehicle but also offer peace of mind. With a reliable alarm, a loud siren, and a sturdy steering wheel lock, you can rest easier about your car’s safety.
Find a Secure Parking Spot
It’s essential to choose a reputable parking area. Seeking recommendations for the safest parking spots in your vicinity is a wise move. Experts suggest choosing well-lit areas and avoiding spaces hidden behind trees or buildings. Parking on a busy street can also be a deterrent, as the presence of passers-by often discourages car thieves.
Never Leave your Vehicle Unattended
Always ensure that the fundamentals of automotive security are addressed in all situations. To begin, always remember to close the windows before exiting your vehicle. Thieves are known to reach for and unlock car locks through window gaps. Many car owners have incurred financial losses due to leaving thin spaces on their windows. Also, if you use a mechanical key, remove it before leaving the vehicle in the parking lot.
Install a Vehicle Tracking Device
A car can be stolen and lost forever in the worst-case scenario. However, vehicle owners have a better chance of recovering their vehicles if the vehicle is equipped with a tracker. In the event of auto theft, a GPS tracking device can offer real-time information. Even better, some insurance companies will compensate owners if they lose cars equipped with tracking systems.
Despite continuous efforts to combat crime, car theft remains a pressing concern. Just as you prioritize safeguarding your home, your car also deserves equal attention to its protection. Luckily, there are various measures at a car owner’s disposal to enhance personal safety. The best practices highlighted in this article are particularly effective when used together. Nonetheless, it’s essential for car owners to stay informed about the latest and vehicle-specific security methods.