A car thief can break into your car in less than ten seconds.
And often he or she can steal it in less than a minute.
Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your car and stuff out of thieves’ hands. Progressive claims trainer and former Virginia state trooper Todd Golling offers these seven, simple tips to stop car thieves in their tracks.
- Rule #1: If you don’t want it stolen, don’t leave it in your car. Simple as that. A visible iPod or GPS is a temptation for “smash and grab.”
- Rule #1 is particularly important when traveling. Remove everything from your car at a hotel. Thieves patrol hotel parking lots and look for things like out of state plates, or suction-cup marks on the windshield to indicate a GPS device might be in the car.
- It sounds simple, but make sure you lock your car. Even if you’re only leaving it unattended for a minute.
- If you go on a shopping trip, keep a blanket in your car to cover the items you buy. Thieves are less likely to take the risk of breaking into your car if they don’t know what they’re getting.
- Don’t keep spare keys to your car or house anywhere in your car.
- Don’t leave anything with your address on it i.e. mail, registration, insurance card.
- Locking gas caps, wheel-locking nuts, and engine immobilizers are a great way to tell the thief “It’s not going to be easy!”
What about your car?
Even when you take the precautions noted above, the type of car you drive may ultimately affect how likely it is to be a target. See how your car’s theft rates compare to other models here. You should also check your insurance coverage.