Follow these simple steps:
- When leaving your vehicle, make sure the visible interior is empty. Lock parcels and other valuables in the trunk.
- Remove your stereo's faceplate and take it with you whenever you leave your vehicle. If this option isn't possible, consider investing in a vehicle anti-theft device like a vehicle alarm.
- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended, even with the car locked.
- Always shut windows tightly and lock all doors.
- Don't leave a set of keys in the vehicle and don't mark your keys with personal identification or your vehicle's licence plate number.
- Don't leave your vehicle registration in your car.
- Avoid parking your vehicle in dark areas or near trees or fences, which provide hiding places for thieves.
- Always keep your vehicle inside the garage, if you have one. Keep all doors and windows of both the vehicle and garage shut and locked.
Make it as hard and time-consuming as possible for a thief to break into or steal your vehicle. This may not always deter a criminal, but thieves usually pick quick and easy targets.
If you're looking for a new car, you might consider getting one with a device already installed. However, you can purchase many kinds of anti-theft devices from retailers that can be installed in most vehicles.
Whatever type of anti-theft device you choose, it's a good idea to also have a flashing light-emitting diode (LED) that can be placed on the vehicle's dash and window warning stickers. These can stop many thieves before any damage is done.
Steering wheel bar
A metal bar that's attached to the steering wheel and secured with a key-lock system. The bar impedes a driver's ability to steer the vehicle. Just seeing one of these bars on the steering wheel of a vehicle is usually enough to make a thief move on to another target. However, the bar doesn't stop someone from breaking into the vehicle to steal its contents.
A protective steel collar that encases the steering column. It prevents access to the vehicle's starting mechanism. It's less likely than the steering wheel bar to deter a thief from breaking into your vehicle, since it's not as visible. And if a thief has somehow got hold of your keys, it won't stop them from driving off with your car.
Electronic disabling device (immobilizer)
This disables the ignition system. This system can be installed in older, non-computerized vehicles. A tiny switch can be placed in a hidden spot known only to the vehicle owner. When the switch is turned to 'off', the vehicle can't be started. Electronic boxes that can be used to disable the starting mechanism can also be installed in cars with computer-controlled ignition and fuel systems. These systems aren't visible though and won't deter a thief from breaking into the vehicle.
This device sounds an alarm if a vehicle is tampered with. The features and sophistication of the alarms vary according to price. The least expensive types will only sound once a thief has entered the vehicle. Alarms in the mid-price range go off if the sensors detect tampering with the door handles or if the car is jacked up to steal the wheels. The most sophisticated and expensive system detects a person approaching within close range of the vehicle and emits a verbal warning that a siren will sound if the person gets any closer. This protects your vehicle from vandalism, break-in and theft.