Car Theft : how to protect yourself from car theft: 5 useful tips
It’s not just luxury cars anymore – thieves target economy and ordinary cars as well to steal or dismantle them so they can sell parts on the black market.
Particularly when summer is approaching, the public needs to be even more careful. Motorists tend to let their guard down because the weather is pleasant and they feel more relaxed especially on their vacation.
What can be done to reduce the risk of car theft?
Here are some useful tips to protect your car from thieves
CAR SECURITY DEVICES
Mechanical security devices such as steering or brake locks are an excellent deterrent for less experienced criminals who don’t know how to remove them quickly. There are many locks available on the market, including e-commerce websites.
Hi-tech devices, however, are far safer. Besides activating the alarm, they use a tracking app to notify the owner in real-time by SMS, WhatsApp or email and describe in detail what is happening to the car and where it is physically located.
A radiofrequency system which cannot be removed and is active in enclosed areas such as containers or underground garages will make it twice as likely to retrieve your stolen vehicle.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR ENGINE ON OR YOUR KEYS IN THE IGNITION
Never leave your engine on or your keys in the ignition – not even for a few seconds, not even if you are in a rush or double-parked.
Whenever you leave your vehicle, no matter how long, take your keys out of the ignition, turn the engine off and make sure that the windows are up, and the doors, the trunk and, if you have a convertible, the top are all well closed and shut.
If you stop at a service station or in a shopping parking lot and you lock your car with a keyless device, always double-check manually that the doors are locked.
Unbeknownst to anyone, a thief nearby might use a signal-jamming device to access your car while you are away.
Other useful tips to keep in mind to discourage thieves are, hide your personal belongings, park in busy and well-lit areas and remember to lock your car even when you are stopping for a short break.
AVOID REMOTE OR UNATTENDED PARKING SPOTS, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT
Another way to prevent the risk of your car being stolen is to not park it in a remote or unattended location.
Don’t forget to be aware of your surroundings, either: If you notice shards of glass on the ground, it means that cars have either been vandalized or stolen in that area – so you’d better park elsewhere!
Are you looking for a safe place for your car?
Thanks to the automated parking systems developed by Sotefin (link), you needn’t worry about your car being vandalized or stolen any longer.
Not only will you park in a well-lit and manned environment – you will also be completely safe, as these areas are closed to the public.
CHECK YOUR CAR OFTEN WHEN PARKED FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME
For one reason or another – for example, during the lockdown – some may not use their car for a while.
In this case, don’t forget to check that your car is in the same place where you parked it.
Reporting a car theft in a timely fashion – i.e. within 24 hours – makes it much more likely to retrieve the vehicle. The opposite is true after 48 hours or longer.
And finally, we recommend not to always park in the same spot as thieves can use where you frequently park to plan their crime much more easily.
THE BROKEN WING MIRROR SCAM
The broken wing mirror scam is a very common crime pretty much everywhere.
It consists in tricking the victim into thinking they hit another car while driving.
The scammers will throw pebbles to simulate a light collision between two vehicles. The driver, generally a woman or an elderly person, will then stop and exit their car, providing the thieves with the perfect opportunity to steal it.
And this is where the scam happens – the con artist will demand to be compensated for an accident which in fact never took place.
And, lastly, remember never give your car keys to suspicious-looking parking attendants.
Beware of scammers! To protect your car, use Sotefin automatic parking systems.