Preventing auto crime
Learn about the opportunities thieves look for and what you can do to protect yourself from auto crime.
Thieves look for opportunities
Older vehicles are easier targets
Older vehicles are easier targets because they are less likely to have the most effective security features.
Older vehicles tend to have weaker door locks and are less likely to have electronic engine immobilizers installed (only as of September 1, 2007 were all cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs required to have anti-theft engine immobilizers at the time of manufacture).
Top 10 items stolen from vehicles
Remember that what’s in your vehicle is also at risk. According to police reports, these items are the most popular:
Personal electronics—tablets, laptops, iPods, GPS
Credit cards and identification
Cash and change
Car parts and accessories
Garage door openers
Top 10 stolen vehicles
According to police reports, the following were the most popularly stolen vehicles in 2014:
- Honda Civic/CRX
- Honda Accord
- Ford F350
- Acura Integra
- Ford F-150XLT
- Ford F250 Supercab
- Dodge Caravan
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Corolla
- Toyota Camry
What you can do
Don’t give thieves a chance:
Never leave your keys unguarded, such as at the gym or in a restaurant. According to police data, approximately one in five vehicles are stolen using the owner’s keys, so be sure to keep them on you or locked in a secure place.
Park in secure, well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic. Always lock doors and close windows, even if you’re away from your vehicle for just a few minutes.
Remove possessions from your vehicle—shopping bags, tools, spare change, electronics, brief cases, etc. Put anything that could tempt a thief in the trunk.
Wait for garage door gates to close behind you so thieves don’t have a chance to get in the parkade.
Keep your garage door opener out of sight.
If you have an older vehicle, use an anti-theft device, such as an electronic engine immobilizer or steering wheel lock.
Don’t store a spare or valet key in your vehicle.
Use anti-theft devices
Electronic immobilizers are anti-theft devices that cut off power to a vehicle’s fuel, starter, or ignition system when not in use.
Vehicle alarms will draw attention to would-be thieves with sirens, beeps and other loud noises. Some systems will also trigger flashing lights.
Steering wheel locks are good visual deterrents. However, they may not be enough protection if your vehicle has a moderate to high risk of being stolen.