According to Progressive Insurance 2012′s data for its operation in the US, summer is a busy season for car thieves, with the month of July topping the chart of theft claims, followed by August and June. In 2012, cars were most likely to be stolen on a weekend, specifically Sundays and Saturdays respectively.
So how do you prevent your car from being stolen? Progressive Claims Trainer and former Virginia State Trooper Todd Golling is an expert on break-ins, and has advice on how to deter thieves from targeting your car for theft, or a break-in.
“Thieves are lazy, so if you do anything to make their job more difficult, they’ll move on to the next car. Even if you don’t have a car alarm, if you have a sticker that says you do, your car becomes a less likely target. Anywhere that you’ll be parked for a long time – churches, sports venues, concerts, etc. – are targets for car thieves. That applies to the theft of the car itself and items in the car. Remove everything from your car when you’re at those kinds of places.”
Todd Golling shared his best tips make your car less of a target.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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!”