It’s easy to forget how much we rely on our cars – that is until yours gets nicked. Car theft is a common crime in New Zealand, with thousands of cars stolen every day. Less than half of them are recovered.*
Having your car stolen is a major inconvenience and often leaves you stranded. Making your car less appealing to thieves, as well as harder to steal, is a good way to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of car theft. Here are some ways to make your car less appealing to thieves:
- Invest in an anti-theft system. These can range from a simple steering wheel lock to a full alarm system that will immobilise the car. The type that is best for you will depend on how much you want to spend and how high the risk is for your car
- Giving the impression that you have an alarm system will sometimes be enough to deter thieves; stickers on windows or flashing LEDs on the dashboard can be all it takes
- Always lock your car, even when you are parked in your own driveway. It can take mere seconds for a thief to drive away with your car – and the valuables you keep inside it
- Never leave your keys in your unattended car, even for a brief moment. If you keep your house keys on the same keychain a thief could have both your car and access to your house
- Avoid leaving valuables like CDs, laptops, mobile phones, GPS devices and iPods in your car. If you have to leave them there, make sure they are out of sight
- When you are parking at night you are more vulnerable to theft. Try to park in well lit areas and always be aware of what is going on around you. Keep the doors locked at night even when you’re in the car. Be sure it is safe to get out if you are alone and it’s dark.
Remember, when going to your car at night, have your keys on hand before you get to the car. When in doubt, call for help.
Car thieves will always go for the easy target, so the objective is to make it harder for them by implementing anti theft tactics.
Finally, if you are ever approached directly by someone looking to steal your car, avoid a confrontation – your safety is more important than your car. You never know the mindset of someone perpetrating a crime such as carjacking and you can never be sure that you are safe from attack if you do resist. Call the police straight away and always put your safety first.