How to Get the ‘Steal Me’ Sticker Off Your Car

 

No one wants to attract the attention of thieves. Yet the actions of many vehicle owners practically beg thieves to take a crack at their cars. What are you doing that might tempt thieves? And, just as important, what are you doing to deter them?

Vehicle owners can easily reduce the risk of car theft and resulting insurance claims with a few simple steps. To properly protect your asset, consider the following list of dos and don’ts:

Do:

  • Lock your vehicle at all times. Even when you’re in it. When choosing their prey, car thieves look for the easiest mark. It doesn’t get much easier than an open car.
  • Etch your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into each of the windows. Stolen cars are stripped of their identity for resale. Thieves would rather not replace all the glass.
  • If necessary, take a longer route to avoid high-crime areas. It’s worth the extra few minutes to protect yourself and your car.
  • Park in well-lit areas. This removes the dark and shadowy atmosphere that thieves prefer for their work.
  • Install an anti-theft system. Good options include steering wheel locks, ignition cut-off systems, alarms, and police-signaling systems. Check with your insurance agent to see which systems might make you eligible for a discount on your premium.

Don’t:

  • Leave your keys in your car, and NEVER leave it running unattended. This seems obvious, but many car owners are guilty of this one.
  • Leave valuables visible in your vehicle. Nothing says “smash my window for some quick cash” like a purse, electronic device, or other potential prize sitting out in plain view.
  • Leave ownership information in your car. If a thief steals your vehicle, you don’t want him or her to also have “proof” that they own it.