How to avoid vehicle theft … in COVID times and beyond
Vehicle safety is of paramount importance to any motor vehicle owner. Can you imagine having parked your vehicle and proceeded to carry out your legitimate business, only to return to find an empty parking spot? No one saw, heard or noticed anything strange until you arrived? In fact, it would appear, the alarm even went to sleep. By placing a few important reminders in the cubbyhole of your mind, you can somehow make it less easy for unscrupulous persons to drive away with your property.
“It is wise to install a quality anti-theft device which disables the electrical and fuel systems of the vehicle,” advised Rupert Gray, a former superintendent of police. An anti-theft device can deter most car thieves and even slow down the professional ones.
According to Supt Gray, if a person does not have an electronic gate, he or she should turn the engine off before opening the gate. One officer in the Community Safety and Security branch says that car owners should be aware of their surroundings prior to leaving their vehicles. “Pay attention to where you are parked; park in well-lighted areas with heavy pedestrian traffic,” he further advises.
Here are ways to prevent vehicle theft and create less stress and more peace of mind
1. It is wise to install a secondary ignition shut-off switch. Remember to conceal the switch in an inconspicuous location.
2. If you bought a used vehicle, have the ignition switch changed as quickly as possible.
3. Always lock your vehicle and take your keys when you get out.
4. Always set your emergency brake when parking, even on level ground.
5. Before opening and entering your motor vehicle, look underneath the vehicle and when you have opened the door, scan around the back seat to ensure no undesirables are hiding there.
6. It is a good practice to always kerb your wheels. When parking on the street, slant your front wheels towards the kerb before the steering column locks to prevent your car from being towed.
7. Always park your vehicle in a parking lot whenever possible. Parking that vehicle in the lot reduces the chance of your car becoming a target.
8. Never hide a spare ignition key in the vehicle. A professional car thief will always search for one.
9. Never leave your keys with a parking attendant. It is best to have the attendant immediately park the car and return your keys. Try to avoid leaving your keys with people you do not know well, or do not trust.
10. Never leave items which contain your name, address or phone number visible in your motor car. Additionally, never leave valuables such as laptops, tablets, handbags, purses, wallets, IDs, any kind of phone, high-end or otherwise, easy for roaming eyes to see. Do not attract would-be thieves with bonus valuables.
11. Install an audible alarm system. Would-be robbers are afraid of noise.