Though you may think that vehicular theft is the stuff of video games, getting a car stolen is actually very common. In fact, in the United States, a motor vehicle is stolen every 41 seconds.
Though not every crime is preventable, there are steps you can take to protect your ride. Here are just a few ways to keep your car in the driveway and your keys in your hands:
- Keep it locked. It may seem obvious, but having the doors of your car locked whenever they are closed is the first step to a safer vehicle.
- Park wisely. Choose to park your car in well-lit, busy areas where passerby will notice someone breaking into a vehicle. If you’re parking at a business, keep close to the front doors as security cameras will likely monitor any suspicious activity.
- Hide valuables. Thieves will be less tempted to break into your car if they don’t see any purses, cash, or electronic devices worth stealing along with your car.
- Consider anti-theft devices, which can deter criminals. Some systems, for example, prevent thieves from hot wiring your car.
- Hide your vehicle title. Some thieves get away from the law during traffic stops because they can show a police officer the title, which you conveniently left in the glove box.
- Track your keys. Next time you head to a locksmith for your BMW key fob replacement, ask about trackers that can alert you to your key’s location at any time using a smartphone app.
- Never leave your car running . Walking away from a vehicle and the keys make your ride the easiest target.
- Keep keys in smart places. Keep them in your pocket or in a safe, non-obvious place when not in use, like a drawer. A home burglary occurs ever 13 seconds in the US–if someone breaks into your house and sees keys on the counter, they might use your vehicle as a getaway car.
- Invest in security keys. Some types of keys, like transponder keys or smart keys, offer additional safety features. Ask your auto locksmith about key security options.