How to Prevent Car Break-Ins

Car theft/break-in is a serious, but very common crime that many unfortunate people become victim to. Nearly 2.5 million car break-ins are reported every year, which averages out to 281 break-ins every hour.

Unfortunately, there is no sure way to prevent your car from being broken into, but there are ways to decrease your risk significantly. There are many precautions you can take, some more expensive than others. Of course, the more money you spend to protect your vehicle, the safer it will be. However, you can keep your car relatively safe without spending any extra money.

Basic, Low-Cost Methods
1. Park in well-lit, high-traffic areas. The best option is a parking structure; the worst option is an alley.
2. Before leaving your car, make sure there is nothing valuable sitting in plain sight. It is best to just not keep expensive items in your car, but for some things (like a stereo), there is no alternative.
3. Roll all of the windows up all the way and lock all the doors. This should be obvious.

Taking these precautions is certainly no guarantee that your vehicle will be safe, but it leaves you in the least risky situation possible without spending money on your car’s security systems.

Initial Purchase Considerations
1. Before purchasing a vehicle, do some research on the cars you have in mind. Certain makes and models of vehicles are more frequently/easily broken into than others.
2. If you purchase a custom stereo, try to get one with a detachable faceplate so you can take that with you when you leave the car. I know that seems like a hassle, but trust me – it’s worth it. I’ve had two radios stolen from my car, and both times I had the faceplate in the car.
3. If you install a sound system or any auxiliary video equipment in your car, to try make it as inconspicuous as possible. If someone can look into your windows and see expensive custom systems, they will want to smash those windows.

Customizing your vehicle’s audio/video systems only increases the risk of a break-in. Of course it is a risk you have to be willing to take, but if you spend money on customs, you should seriously consider spending more money on high-quality security systems.

Security Systems: The Closest Thing to a Guarantee
1. Install an alarm system in your car. The louder your car beeps, the faster they’ll run away.
2. Purchase a visible mechanical device to lock the steering wheel. Even if your steering wheel locks on its own, having a visible device will deter thieves.

The best way to protect your car is to scare people away from it. If they can’t see anything valuable inside your car, and it looks like you’ve taken many security measures, that is the best you can do to prevent theft.

Other Options (Use Your Own Discretion)
1. Leave a lot of trash in your car. The worse your car looks inside, the less someone will want to get inside it.
2. Put mouse traps or bear traps (your choice) behind your car stereo. If someone does try to take it out, they’ll hurt . . . a lot.
3. If you’re really into revenge (and good with bombs), build a system so that if the stereo is removed, the car blows up. This may not be worth it, but you are the judge of that.

These options are not very practical; they are just some theoretical solutions to car theft I came up with after losing my second stereo. I’m seriously considering the first two options, but for the most part your vehicle should be very safe if you follow the methods provided before these.

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