How to Prevent Car Theft - New Anti-Theft Device Exclusively Designed by Westminster Motors
Five cars are stolen every four hours in Ontario, as reported by insurance platform HelloSafe.ca.
According to the report, 47.2% of all stolen vehicles in Ontario were SUVs (sport utility vehicles), some of which were, Hondas, Jaguars, Land Rovers, and other luxury vehicles were also popular targets.
Car theft is on the rise, along with ever-increasing vehicle insurance rates. Fortunately, there are measures you can put in place to prevent car theft at home or in your driveway.
Extra Precautions Pay Off
If your car features on the list of popular target vehicles in Ontario, going the extra mile to prevent car theft is worthwhile. That includes parking proactively, having your vehicle VIN chemically etched on your windows, and using anti-theft systems like the Westminster Anti-Theft Device.
With the recent increase in luxury vehicle thefts in the GTA, our focus has been to develop a viable theft deterrent system specifically designed for Land Rover & Jaguar vehicles. Our in-house developed theft deterrent device is not available commercially and is exclusive to Westminster Motor’s.
After hearing many of our customers experience vehicle theft, we understand that it’s beyond their desire to merely protect their investment. It also becomes a violation of space and invasion of personal items, such as mobiles, tablets and work-related information - not to mention the challenges of replacing their vehicles in today’s new car market!
How to Prevent Car Theft at Home
Protecting your car against theft can save you time, stress, and money on car insurance rates - insurance companies offer a discount if you have anti-theft measures in place.
Beyond investing in our Anti-Theft Device, a little effort towards prevention can also make your life easier and safer for the long haul. Beyond locking your door, lifting the windows, and not leaving your car running unattended, here are additional tips on how to prevent car theft.
Protect your vehicle identification number (VIN)
If you don’t already, have your VIN chemically etched on visible parts of your car. The idea is to help police officers identify your stolen vehicle easily while making the car less attractive to thieves. While chemically etching your VIN on visible car parts makes it hard for thieves to resell it, it also makes it unattractive to them.
Keep a copy of the VIN readily accessible so that you can easily give it to your insurance company or police officers should it be required.
In addition to the VIN, keep a record of essential car details, such as its license plate, model, colour, etc. After all, the more details you can provide the police, the easier it is for them to trace your vehicle.
Park your car protectively
Wondering how to prevent car theft from your driveway?
Park less valuable vehicles in ways to block in more valuable ones
Use your parking brake to prevent it from being towed away easily
Back into the driveway if your car is a rear-wheel-drive
Back frontwards in case of a front-wheel-drive
Turn your car wheels to the side
Ensure the driveway is well-lit
In terms of how to prevent car theft at home, build a private garage and always park your vehicle inside. Lock the doors and install a CCTV or home surveillance system in your parking space.
When parking in public places, don't leave your vehicle in a dark, secluded location or the outskirts of a parking lot. Instead, park it near the building entrance - if possible, in the view of a CCTV camera.
Ensure the car's front end is facing a heavy-to-remove obstacle, like a wall or guardrail. If parking on the street, select a well-lit area, turn the wheels towards the road curb, and lock the steering wheel.
Use anti-theft devices
Putting a sticker in your rear window that suggests you have a tracking system or alarm in your car can help throw off a potential criminal.
The reason is that thieves prefer an easy steal. They are unlikely to risk stealing if they suspect they could get caught.
Car covers make it awkward and difficult for thieves to carry out their malice. For one, the material hides your vehicle's interior, making it hard for the thief to know what to expect when they unlock the door.
You can use tarpaulin in place of a car cover – or just about any opaque material large enough to cover your vehicle.
The fact that steering wheel locks are still popular today is a testament to their effectiveness.
If your car is among the most targeted vehicles, consider installing one to make the car un-drivable while you are away.
You can also leverage hood locks and tire locks.
Aftermarket alarm systems
Installing an audible alarm is a great theft deterrent. The reason is that the alarms are designed to produce loud sounds when someone attempts to break into the car. The resulting unwanted attention may chase off a car thief.
Installing a car immobilizer is a must if your car does not have one already. This electronic security device prevents thieves from hot-wiring a motorcar to start.
While using this measure, beware of the secret valet key often contained in a sleeve in your manual (if a thief can gain access to it, they can unlock the doors and igniter the car with ease).
Installing a GPS tracking system should be obvious, as such a device can alert you when your vehicle starts moving unexpectedly. Be aware, though: criminals can also leverage the same technology to keep tabs on your movements, or rather, observe where you have parked the car and attack at an opportune time.
Perform regular checks – especially on areas where trackers are likely to be hidden. Think behind gas caps, under bumpers, inside front gates, and in wheel wells.
If your vehicle has a wireless entry, you may be wondering how to prevent keyless car theft or how to prevent relay car theft. Here are some devices you can use to do just that.
A key-fob sends low-frequency signals to your car’s computer, enabling remote control, but this computer can also be accessed via a port, like a USB port for your automobile.
That makes it easy for thieves to plug into the port and reprogram the keyless entry. Their goal could be to operate the vehicle with a new key-fob or perform multiple vehicle operations using the port.
Installing port blockers is vital - that is, locked plugs you can insert into the port, which can only be unlocked using a unique coded key you possess.
Faraday box or pouch
As mentioned, key-fobs send low-frequency signals instructing the car to unlock doors, ignite, and so on. Unfortunately, criminals can use a relay box to pick up those signals and send them to another relay box strategically placed beside your car. That can, in turn, trigger the car computer to ignite, allowing the criminals to get away in seconds.
To prevent such an outcome, keep your key-fob away from your vehicle inside a metal container that can block its signals, such as a Faraday box or pouch, coffee tin, or aluminum wrap.
Be Prepared: Understanding Car Theft
The truth is, many car thefts are avoidable if owners are diligent enough to lock the car and not leave it running unattended. Another common slip-up that invites thieves to your car is leaving valuables – such as purses, laptops, and GPS units – in plain sight.
With that said, it’s essential to understand the thief's mentality to help formulate a better theft prevention strategy. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most common traits among car thieves.
They study your habit
While unsettling, it’s not unusual for car thieves to spy on you, your car, and your movements for quite some time as they formulate an attack plan. They are also likely to trade or sell detailed notes of a target’s driving habits.
They work together
Some thieves can offer a finder’s fee to anyone who can provide relevant details – think location, photos, etc. – of the specific car model they are looking for.
In such cases, the information can originate from anyone, including a security guard who is better poised to inform the criminals about your schedules.
Some thieves master stealing a specific car model and make, and add others to their portfolio, one at a time.
That means if a thief only knows how to steal Chevy Camaros, they will focus on stealing only that - so you can bet they have mastered how to silence the stock alarm as quickly as possible, as well as how to locate and unplug the stock tracking system.
They are relentless
Once a thief sets their eyes on your car, they will rarely stop until they get it. That means mastering the mechanics of breaking into the specific car model. It could be using a slim jim tool to unlock doors on older models, or the smash and grab method if you leave the windows closed - or even a relay box to bypass your keyless entry.
Car theft is a well-orchestrated crime, hence the need for viable preventive measures.
Of the many theft deterrent devices we’ve installed on Land Rovers & Jaguars, ranging from 2010 to most current models, we’ve yet to hear a theft incident being reported. Vehicle theft can occur by many means, however, the intention is to deter vehicle thefts, employing a viable deterrent to counter the specific methods being used by today’s car thieves.
Contact us today and protect your investment - you may even qualify for a discount on your car insurance rates!