Winter Vehicle Theft | How To Avoid Being The Target
Vehicle theft is on the rise in Alberta. In Calgary alone, there were 4,879 reported stolen vehicles in 2016, up 51% from the five-year average. One in four of these stolen vehicles were taken with the keys inside.
While there is no prime season for vehicle theft, winter would be high ranking on the list. Idling vehicles are a prime target for thieves because they are served up on a silver platter. Many vehicles have options for a remote start, but many do not. This means that these vehicles are left unattended, unlocked, with the keys in the ignition.
When common sense leads, most of us would never put ourselves in that position. However, when that cold snap occurs common sense seems to be pushed aside and leaving our vehicles vulnerable seems ok. Because it’s just for a moment, but sometimes, that is all it takes.
There are several things that you can do to keep your vehicle safe!
- Never leave your vehicle unlocked, running, or unattended.
This seems simple, but it happens every day. Lessen your chances of being a target, and skip this commute ritual.
- Install a remote starter
Not only are remote starters more convenient, but they are safer. Remote start allows your vehicle to warm up while remaining locked. Most vehicles have enough security to know that if a lock is breached and the key is not in the ignition after a remote start, it will shut off. Rather than waste the time trying to start the vehicle again, many thieves will leave. These are crimes of opportunity.
- Use a steering wheel lock
At the very least these are a deterrent. If you do not have remote start, you can use this wheel lock to keep your vehicle safer. While it’s not the best option, it is an option.
- Install an alarm system
Thieves tend to avoid cars with alarms or anti-theft devices because they attract attention when they go off. These devices are well worth the investment, and can often stop a theft in its tracks.
- Leave your spare keys, and garage openers inside.
Leaving a spare key of any kind in your vehicle is a bad idea. If a thief gets into your vehicle, and you have spare keys or openers in plain site, they have now been invited into your home. Keeping these important items on your person is safer, just get into the habit of removing them from the equation.
- Remove valuables
Remove all Valuables. Never leave ANYTHING on display when you leave your vehicle, including loose change, cigarettes, lighters, sunglasses, cell phones, stereos, cameras, and clothing. If they can see it, they could steal it
- Do not leave children or pets unattended
This is a no brainer, any season. If your pets or children are with you on an outing, they should be leaving the vehicle as often as you are.
- Use common sense
If you are unsure of the safety of your vehicle or see anyone loitering around it’s best to report it. Be a good neighbour, and look out for each other. It would be a shame to have a vehicle stolen because you ignored your instincts.
- All Insurance is not created equal
This goes without saying, but make sure you have the correct insurance in place for your vehicle. The reason it exists is to protect you, and one of your largest investments. Contact us anytime to go over your insurance needs, and our knowledgeable brokers will make the process fast, easy and accurate!