Keeping Your Car Safe: Tips for Preventing Auto Theft
Thieves have gotten increasingly savvy and bold, so how do you protect yourself from car theft? Be vigilant about securing your vehicle, and take preventative measures. Here are 8 things you can do to help protect your car from theft.
1. Lock Your Doors
Keeping your doors locked is the first step. It’s good to get into the habit of checking your car doors before walking away.
2. Remove Your Keys from the Vehicle
Never leave your keys in the ignition or leave your car running, even if you’re just running back inside for something you forgot.
3. Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car
One way to attract a thief is to leave a purse, cell phone or another high-value item visible in your car. It’s best to leave anything of value at home, but, if you have to bring it with you, keep it out of sight. Store valuables in the trunk before you get where you need to be, as some thieves scope parking lots — looking for people who are moving items to their trunks.
4. Close the Windows
Keep your windows closed completely. A thief can simply reach into your car through an open window and unlock the door to gain full access to your vehicle and everything in it.
5. Park in Well-Lit Areas
Avoid parking in areas that are poorly lit or places that are not immediately seen by passers-by. Parking under a light and in a well-trafficked area may be a deterrent.
6. Be Alert
Be aware of your surroundings when you park your car. If you are wary of the safety of your car or see someone loitering around the parking lot, it’s best to park somewhere else.
7. Do Not Leave a Spare Key near Your Vehicle
Take your keys with you when you leave your car. Some people may keep a spare key under the car or in the glove box, just in case they get locked out — but thieves know where to check for an extra key. Getting locked out is a pain, but imagine the hassle if your car is stolen.
8. Install an Anti-Theft System
An audible alarm emits a loud noise if someone attempts to enter the vehicle while the alarm is on. The unwanted attention attracted by the noise may chase off a potential thief. Keep in mind that you may need to have a mechanic or alarm technician install it for you.
What Do You Do If Your Car is Broken Into/Stolen
If your car is stolen or broken into on campus, contact University Police Services immediately at 702-895-3669. You may need to provide the following information to UPD:
- The year, make, model and color of your car
- License plate number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- What and the value of what was stolen
You’ll also want to let your insurance company know within 24 hours if your vehicle has been stolen.
While auto theft is not common, it is unfortunately still something you need to protect yourself against. Many auto thefts are crimes of opportunity, “smash and grabs”. By taking a few simple precautions before leaving your vehicle you may help reduce the chances of theft.