Unfortunately, theft is an everyday worry that nearly every Macon resident has. Theft of their belongings, money and car are valid concerns. Nationwide, 748,841 vehicles were stolen in 2018 alone with an overall loss of about $6 billion. While it’s not always possible to avoid, there are certain measures you can take to make it harder for someone to steal your car.
Certain vehicles attract thieves because they are easier to steal or worth a lot of money. The most stolen car in the U.S. as of 2019 is a Dodge Charger HEMI. Expensive vehicles are often the target of theft due to their resale value. Thieves typically avoid easily recognized classic or rare cars, however. Depending on your vehicle, you may be more likely to be the victim of theft.
No matter what vehicle you have, make sure to:
- Keep the doors locked. Even when you’re driving or filling gas, make sure to have your doors locked. If you have your back turned while at the gas station, someone could easily slip in and steal your belongings. The same goes for if an adult passenger remains in the car while you run an errand. Make sure the passenger locks the doors from the inside and only unlocks them once you return.
- Keep your keys close. It’s easy to be forgetful, but crucial that you always know where your keys are and that you only let people borrow them who you trust. Don’t leave your keys in the vehicle and keep them secure while you’re shopping.
- Hide valuable items. Valuable items like watches and computers are often left in cars while the driver is busy with something else. Be sure to hide such valuable items so passersby can’t see them and be tempted to steal. Cover the items with coats, blankets or anything else that’s not likely to be targeted by a thief. Smaller items should go in the glove box.
- Keep windows and sunroof closed. Leaving a window open makes it easy for a thief to reach over and unlock the door from the inside.
- Invest in anti-theft systems. Newer vehicles come with anti-theft alarms, but they can sometimes be bypassed or won’t notify you immediately. There are systems that can be tracked by police and others that cut the ignition. Any visible sign that you have an anti-theft system may deter thieves.
- Be vigilant. This is perhaps the most important part of protecting yourself and your car. Thieves often act at night, so be aware of your surroundings and park in well-lit areas if possible. Always lock the doors behind you.
- Make sure your auto insurance policy has comprehensive coverage. In some cases, it’s impossible to prevent theft. In this case, it’s critical to have comprehensive coverage, which includes theft and vandalism. If your vehicle is stolen, comprehensive coverage will compensate you. Keep in mind that this coverage only covers the vehicle and not any items you have in the car. If your items are stolen, be sure you have a good homeowners or renters policy that will compensate you.
You can never be too safe when it comes to your vehicle. If a hijacker threatens you, cooperate and let them take the car. Some thieves purposefully rear end other vehicles to steal the car once the driver gets out to inspect the damage. If you feel unsafe, drive to a populated area or call the police. If you feel as though you’re being followed, drive to the nearest police station. If your vehicle is stolen, call the police immediately.