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Top 10 Ways to Avert Auto Theft

from Plapp Insurance Services

Dec 24, 2015

While not often a topic of discussion, car theft is a serious problem in Illinois and throughout the United States. The property value lost through stolen vehicles in Illinois adds up to nearly $1 million a day. You can avoid being a victim of this costly crime by following a few helpful tips:

1. Lock your car and take your keys

When you park, close all windows, lock all doors and take the keys with you. Thieves need less than 30 seconds to steal most cars.

2. Hide valuables out of sight

Thieves are attracted not only to your car, but also to the contents within. Thieves will often smash a window just to steal a camera, stereo or car phone.

3. Turn wheels toward curb and apply emergency brake

Park with the front wheels turned sharply to the right or left and apply your emergency brake, making it difficult to tow your car away.

4. Leave your car in gear or park

When parking a front-wheel-drive car, place your vehicle in park and apply the emergency brake. If you have a stick shift, put the gear into forward or reverse and apply the emergency brake.

5. Park in well-lighted areas

Why give a thief the advantage of working under the cover darkness, unnoticed?

6. Lock both car and garage

When parking inside your garage at home, lock both your car and the garage door. When parking in a public garage, give the attendant the ignition key only and lock all valuables in the trunk or glove compartment.

7. Take your wallet or purse with you

Don't leave your wallet, purse or driver's license in your car. Thieves could learn your address and later burglarize your home or impersonate you.

8. Etch your vehicle identification number (VIN)

Consider etching your VIN into all car windows, T-tops and other expensive, removable parts.

9. Drop your business card into door panel

This may assist police in identifying a stolen vehicle or stolen parts.

10. Install and activate an anti-theft device

This may include device which make the vehicle inoperable, such as a fuel cutoff or ignition kill switch, or devices such as sensors and motion detectors, sirens and paging units, steering wheel locks, shields that cover the ignition switch and wheel locks. Check with your insurance company for information about the types of anti-theft devices which qualify for a discount on the comprehensive coverage of your policy.

For more information on auto safety and burglary prevention, please call us or contact us using our contact form.

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