Most car security is inadequate. Thieves are able to break into and drive away with most makes and models of vehicles in less than a minute. Research shows that particular kinds of thieves favour certain models because they have found ways to easily steal them. Many of these stolen vehicles will be used in other crimes and are often involved in police pursuits. These pursuits can become a safety risk to the public and the police officers involved.
Popular stolen vehicles at this time in Edmonton are DODGE CARAVANS and PLYMOUTH VOYAGERS. Ford Escorts, Saturns and Hondas are running second. Larger Ford Trucks (F250/F350) are third.
Your vehicles or vehicle will more than likely be your second largest investment you make in your life. If your vehicle is stolen, the inconvenience and the insurance cost to you outweighs the prevention cost. Most vehicle crime is opportunistic and therefore preventable. By following some straightforward advice, and working together, we can ensure that this type of crime is reduced in your community.
Tips to prevent Vehicle Theft
Do not leave your vehicle running - Under no circumstances should you leave your vehicle unattended while running with the key in the ignition. NOTE: Automatic car starters are not a problem; they are designed to shut off if attempts are made to steal the vehicle.
No Spare Keys - Do not leave a spare key hidden in the vehicle. Thieves look for spare keys, and once they break into your vehicle they know all the hiding spots. You can get a spare key holder for your wallet or purse.
Lock Up Your Vehicle - Always check that the doors, windows, and sun roofs are shut and locked when you park your vehicle. As well, leave your vehicle in a locked garage where possible. If the crime rate is high in your area also lock your vehicle even when it is in the locked garage.
Be aware of where you park - When parking your vehicle at work, visiting, going to appointments etc., park in parking lots that will have more than one of the following:
- Security cameras;
- Security patrolling the parking lot;
- Someone working at an entrance/exit booth;
- A gated parking lot that needs a pass to get in and out;
- Well lit at night and during the day;
- A busy parking lot with lots of people coming and going or an area where there is lots of vehicle or pedestrians passing by.
Use a Steering Wheel Locking Device (e.g. The Club) - A well-secured car will deter thieves. There are other devices available to consumers to stop thieves from easily stealing your vehicle. See your local automotive stores for details.
Do not leave items in your vehicle - Thieves can be attracted to your car because numerous items are left in plain site. Never leave anything in your vehicle. That means loose change, cell phones, CDs, cameras, clothing, sunglasses, cigarettes, cigarette lighters, and any other items.
Install an Alarm - Alarms can deter thieves not only from stealing your vehicle, but also from stealing items from your vehicle. Caution is needed that you do not set your alarm to sensitive. Storms, wind, or large trucks passing by your vehicle can set it off. Too many false alarms and people will ignore it or get upset that it is always going off.
Cost - The only item listed above that could be considered expensive is an alarm system. Even if you follow all the other above listed suggestions, you have greatly decreased and almost eliminated the chance your vehicle will be stolen at a minimal cost to you.