Did you know an auto theft occurs every 33 seconds in the United States? It’s true, and the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicate that only 57% of stolen vehicles are ever recovered. Part of the reason for this is that car thieves are no longer just wild kids looking for a thrill. Many of them are sophisticated and organized criminals adept at stripping cars for parts to sell or install in other vehicles, or shipping the stolen cars overseas and selling them on the black market.
Unfortunately, even with an increase in theft-deterrent features on new cars today, factory-installed systems aren’t enough stop thieves. The San Diego Police Department’s Auto Theft Unit has two goals. The second goal is to “assist with the recovery of stolen vehicles and the prosecution of those that steal vehicles.”
Any guess as to their first goal? Yep, “the reduction and prevention of vehicle thefts.”
Makes sense, but what can the police do to protect your car? Honestly, not a whole lot. Auto theft is big business, and it’s up to car owners to protect themselves against it. The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends that vehicle owners put not just one or two, but four “layers of protection” in place to keep their cars out of the hands of thieves.
Layer One – Common Sense
If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you already do everything on this list of common sense measures for protecting your vehicle from thieves. But remember, a thief only needs you to leave your keys on the seat while you run in to pay for gas one time. So, as obvious as this list is, you’ll want to remember it for those times when you’ll “be back in half a second.”
Lock your car doors at all times.
Close windows completely.
Take your keys with you.
Always park in well-lit areas.
Layer Two – Visible or Audible Device
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Locks help keep honest people honest”? The premise is that most people don’t care to make the effort to take what doesn’t belong to them – unless it’s easily accessible. This may or may not be true, but we do believe that car thieves will think twice about breaking into a car that is obviously outfitted with obstacles that will make their job harder. In other words, the following items alert thieves that attempting to steal your car may be more trouble than it’s worth. The last two are vehicle identification markers that make it more difficult for thieves to strip and sell your car without problems on their end.
Audible alarm system
Steering column collars
Theft deterrent decals
Vin etching on windows
Layer Three - Vehicle Immobilizer
In the event that a thief bypasses your first two layers of protection and winds up in the driver’s seat of your car, you can still be the one in control. The following immobilizer systems will thwart the thief’s attempt to drive away with your car.
Smart keys with computer chips that must be present to start the vehicle
Starter, ignition, and fuel disablers
Layer Four – Tracking System
When you report your car as stolen, the GPS technology in a tracking system will emit a signal to police or to your monitoring service and pinpoint its exact location. If you have all the other layers in place, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll need this. But in the event that you do need it, you’ll be so glad you have it.
How we can help
At Car Stereo City in San Diego, we know how much you love your car, and we understand that you’ll do whatever you need to do to protect it. That’s why we offer the latest technology available for alarm systems. You can come to us for everything you need to provide your car with three of the four layers of protection (Nope, we can’t help with common sense). We’ll set you up with a system that includes the audible alarm, vehicle immobilizer, and the tracking system. And when you purchase your system through us, our professional installers will install it for free.
Come on in. We’ll be here.