A car is stolen approximately every 25 seconds in the U.S, according to the City of Tampa. The San Jose government reports that it is more frequent, with a vehicle being stolen somewhere in the U.S. every 21 seconds. Either way, it happens a lot. Luckily, there are a number of ways to decrease the risk of theft and protect your vehicle, ranging from installing alarm systems, to simply having common sense and not making it easier for the thieves.
Avoid Keeping Valuables in the Car
Even if your doors are locked and car is secure, having valuables in the vehicle that are visible, is like a green light to vehicle thieves. Your car automatically becomes a target, and would-be thieves are then often willing to go the extra mile, even breaking a window, to get in.
Avoid leaving anything out that they could use or sell, including a purse, wallet, cell phone, portable DVD player, portable GPS device, laptop, iPad, camera, or even a bag of change. If your car has a removable DVD attachment, try to remember to remove it every time you leave the car.
Avoid Crimes of Opportunity
There are also quite a few vehicle thefts that are simply crimes of opportunity. If you leave your doors unlocked because you either forgot to lock them or weren’t planning on being in the post office for more than a few minutes, you are bound to experience theft of items within the car — or the car itself if the thief can jumpstart it fast enough.
Always roll up your windows far enough to where they can’t get easy access and lock your doors at all times. The same goes for leaving keys in your car. Not only do you not want your keys left in the car, but don’t leave them in areas where they are easy to grab, such as the coffee shop table when you walk up to the counter.
Protect it With an Alarm or Warning System
Going the extra mile to protect your business vehicle may also be necessary. There are three types of alarm systems to get, including a warning device, immobilizing device, and tracking device. The tracking device is powered by GPS technology and alerts the police if the vehicle has been stolen, along with letting you track down the stolen fleet.
Warning devices deter criminals by letting them know you have an alarm system, such as a window decal or tire locks. Then the immobilizing devices can keep the theft from happening, such as a kill switch or the inability to turn the steering wheel. VIN etching on your business vehicles is another helpful way deter theft.
Be Careful Where You Park
Finally, you can prevent business vehicle theft by being careful about where you park. Always park in a well-lit area that has frequent vehicle and pedestrian traffic. It helps if you can find a place that provides an obstacle for someone stealing your car, such as at a curb stop. It makes it more difficult for them to get out quickly.
While these tips can help you decrease the risk of business vehicle theft, nothing is going to be 100 percent effective at preventing theft. Get a commercial auto insurance policy just in case you experience vehicle theft.