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4 keys to preventing car theft

A car is stolen every 45 seconds in the United States, according to the FBI. That’s more than 1,900 cars a day. Yet 56 percent of Americans don’t worry about their cars being stolen, according to a Gallup Crime Poll.


Anti-theft options are becoming more and more sophisticated, which can sometimes lead to a false sense of security. However, car thieves are also becoming more sophisticated. Using a little common sense and readily available theft prevention devices can minimize auto theft. The more layers of protection, the less likely your car will be stolen. 


Keep these four keys to theft prevention in mind for your vehicle:


Awareness. Nearly half of vehicle thefts could have been prevented by the owner, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. Whenever you leave your car, take a moment to check that you have:

  • Parked in a well-lit area
  • Locked the doors and closed the windows
  • Removed spare keys from inside the vehicle
  • Moved valuables and other items out of view 


Deterrence. Vehicles that are easy to break into and allow for a quick getaway are attractive to thieves. Visible theft deterrents signal that your car could be difficult to steal. Consider using:

  • Steering wheel locks
  • Brake pedal locks
  • Theft deterrent decals
  • Audible alarm systems


Immobilization. Immobilizing devices prevent a car from being hot-wired. Many late model vehicles come with immobilization devices standard, and some after-market options are available for earlier model cars. These include:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-offs
  • Kill switches
  • Starter or fuel pump disablers
  • Wireless ignition authentication systems


Tracking. A tracking device emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when a vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ telematics, which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.


For more information, talk to a AAA Insurance agent or visit your local branch office.