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Prevent Your Car from Being Stolen with These Tips

# Never leave valuables in plain sight – This may sound obvious, but many people tend not to seriously evaluate what a thief may consider to be valuable. Many thieves will break into a car simply to steal a GPS system you may have left stuck to your window. Thieves like this often attack many cars at once, often focusing on apartment complexes or night clubs. Even the simple act of leaving a gym bag in your back seat can tantalize a thief into breaking into your vehicle. Although the bag may have nothing in it but gym clothes, they may steal the bag in hopes of finding expensive sneakers, mp3 players, wallets or other valuable items. To be as safe as possible, always put bags in your trunk, and remove your GPS from your window every evening. If your GPS uses a mounting bracket or device, try to remove that as well, just to be extra careful.

# Always lock your doors and shut your windows – Again, most people view this as a matter of course, but many car doors remain unlocked and far too many windows are left rolled down. While most vehicles can lock all doors with the press of a button, many still require manual locking. Some vehicles have separate locking mechanisms for their trunks, as well. Many thieves choose which car they will rob based on how easy it will be to enter, and by testing door handles in parking lots looking for an open door. Do not make it easy for them to victimize you. Keep all doors and other points of entry to your car secure. This includes windows, moonroofs and, for trucks, sliding rear windows.

# Be careful where you park – Always try to park your car in an as highly trafficked and well lit area as possible. Parking near other cars and away from dark corners of a parking lot is always a good practice. If you are parking in a garage, try to park near the security station or by the attendant’s booth. If possible, try to park directly under a light post or other light source. Thieves will be less likely to commit a crime in the brightest area of the parking lot or structure they are targeting. If you are parking in an area that is new to you, always try to choose a spot in a driveway rather than on the street.

# NEVER leave your car running and unattended – Have you ever left your car running while you ran into a gas station to pay for fuel? How about leaving the car on while you go into the Post Office to grab some stamps? One of the easiest ways a thief can steal your car is if you leave it running for them. Never leave your car running and unattended, no matter what the scenario. It only takes a couple of seconds for a thief to jump into your car and drive away with it and everything you had inside of it. There are far too many cases a year where a car is stolen in this very nature, sometimes with young children in the car at the time of the theft. To avoid becoming involved in such a horrendous incident, simply take your keys with you whenever you are unable to keep a direct eye on your vehicle.

# Always use a security system – Security systems can be helpful for both stages of a stolen car incident – the before and the after. By utilizing visible cues of the presence of an alarm system such as flashing indicator lights or a Club on your steering wheel, the criminals will be less likely to break into your particular vehicle. Alarms that sound upon the opening of a car door and the breaking of a window are also helpful, as they can stop a criminal in between the act of breaking in and actually committing the theft. If your car is of substantial value to you, you should also consider affixing it with a GPS tracking device. These devices can assist the police in locating your vehicle within a few short hours of it being stolen. Often times the use of these devices can result in your car and possessions being returned to you exactly as you left them.