Auto theft is a violating experience. You lose your mobility and in some instance your livelihood. For some, their vehicles are tools used to get from point “a” to point “b”, for others they are a showpiece of status and virility and for others they are tools that get a job done.
Whatever your use or need of your automobile, you don’t want to see that vehicle stolen – it violates your personal space, it causes you to lose time and money getting a replacement and if it is never found, then the value of the vehicle to you is very difficult to place into dollars. You insurer is sympathetic to your cause – no, not out of the goodness of their hearts – rather they offer you discounts for anti-theft because fewer vehicles stolen result in fewer claims and thus lower premiums!
Referring to a pamphlet distributed by the Toronto Policy department, here are a few tips on insulating yourself against becoming a victim of auto theft:
I will just be a minute: leaving the car running while you run into the house or store for a “quick minute” is an invitation to thieves that is quite hard to resist – it is like a big welcome mat that screams “please, take my car – I don’t want it!” All kidding aside, it is a pretty bone-headed maneuver that I have been known to pull once in a while too.
Darkness is not the friend you think – some consider hiding their vehicles in the dark corner of a parking lot assuming no one will notice it – on the contrary – dark corners are ideal for car thefts because no one can see what they are doing! Park is well lit & trafficked areas – no thief wants to be cause and they stand more of a chance being ID’d if people can see them
My friend lent me the car – it is highly recommended that you keep your insurance and ownership documents on you when you leave the car unattended. The first few hours after your vehicle is stolen are crucial in helping policy to recover your car – if you leave the insurance and ownership in the car – the thief may be able to pass a random police check by saying that you are his friend and you lent them the car – especially if you haven’t yet realized that your car was stolen!
Preventative devices that you can use would include:
- Steering vehicle locks
- Electronic alarms – especially ones that have immobilizers that turn off fuel, ignition and the starter
- Vehicle tracking systems – especially for higher targeted vehicles – you can get either and active device (requires driver interface to activate) or passive (automatically activate when the driver leaves the vehicle)
Don’t let it happen to you – and extra ounce of caution and prevention always helps.