In the midst of a concerning spike in vehicle theft incidents across the United States, it has become imperative for individuals to prioritize the security of their vehicles and, by extension, their personal safety. According to recent data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), over a million vehicle thefts were reported in 2022, marking the highest numbers since 2008. This unsettling trend necessitates proactive measures to safeguard not only your vehicle but also yourself in a landscape where criminal activities are on the rise. In this straightforward guide, we will provide four practical and effective steps to reduce the chances of you falling victim to this spreading epidemic.
Four Key Strategies for Vehicle Theft Prevention
1. Always Lock Your Vehicle, Regardless of Location
It’s a common misconception that vehicle thefts only happen in crime-ridden neighborhoods. Ensure your vehicle remains locked at all times, even if you live in a safe area. Criminals do not restrict their criminal behavior to their neighborhood, wealthy areas are specifically targeted when it comes to property theft.
2. Illuminate Your Surroundings
Ensure there is adequate lighting surrounding your driveway or where your vehicle is parked. Criminals prefer to work in the shadows, not allowing them to hide in darkness while attempting to gain entry can be just enough to obtain deterrence.
3. Securing Firearms and Avoiding Advertisement
Never leave your firearm inside your vehicle, trucks are specifically targeted by criminals due to the increased chance the owner has a firearm inside the vehicle. If you own a firearm do not advertise it on your vehicle with a “Protected by Glock” or similar sticker. You may think it is a deterrent, but you are only advertising to criminals that if they are looking to steal a gun, this is where they can find one.
4. Garage Security Measures
If your car is not parked inside a closed and secured garage, it might not be a good idea to leave your garage door opener inside the vehicle. If a criminal gains access to your vehicle, they now can open your garage door. Not only does this leave the belongings in your garage vulnerable to theft, but it also leaves you vulnerable. The door leading from the garage into a home is often the most vulnerable and most overlooked. Even if your garage door is closed, it is important to lock the door leading in from your garage.
In a time when vehicle theft is on the rise, taking precautionary steps to secure your vehicle is not just a choice; it’s a necessity. The insights shared here serve as a practical guide to enhance the safety of your vehicle. By being proactive and implementing these simple yet effective strategies, you not only protect your property but also contribute to making our communities safer. Remember, the fight against rising vehicle theft begins with individual awareness and action.
About the Author
Troy Dunkle is the owner of Tutela Security Consulting, a small business that works to deter criminal activity, reduce the fear of crime, and make our communities safer. Tutela Security Consulting is heavily involved in the communities of Georgia, working with individuals to improve their personal security practices, create emergency plans, and analyze crime trends.