10 Ways to Prevent Vehicle Theft
Auto Theft is a Problem; You can Curb It
If you have ever had a vehicle stolen, you know the feeling. The confusion hits first, and then the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. It was always something that happened to someone else and wouldn’t happen to you.
Criminals look for the easiest opportunities. The harder you can make it for them to steal your car, truck, or SUV, the less likely it is that you will end up a victim. As Billings climbs the list as an area with the most stolen vehicles (between 2010 and 2012 motor vehicle thefts jumped 21%; by 2016 Billings, MT was ranked number 10), it’s time for us to make sure we are doing all we can to prevent our property from being taken.
Lock your Vehicle – The easiest way to prevent a theft is to simply make sure your doors are always locked.
Don’t Leave the Keys – A number of vehicles have keypads, or some even open by smartphone. Don’t leave the keys in the vehicle even if you can still get into it; a broken window is nothing to a crook.
Don’t Hide the Keys – It’s tempting to go explore the mountains and hide a key in the bumper; crooks know this and scout for it.
Put the Top Up – If you have a convertible, raise the top. If you don’t, roll up the windows.
Use Lighting – If you have a nice vehicle you may not trust others who park close. But a door ding is a lot easier to repair than a stolen rig. Park under a light, near security and cameras if possible.
Lock it Up – Yep, it’s on here twice. Lock your vehicle while you’re rolling down the street. Carjacking isn’t as common as breaking in, but it does happen.
Use a Kill Switch – They’re expensive, but if your vehicle is too, it’s worth it to have the opportunity to disable it no matter where it ends up. Bonus: they’re usually GPS based so you can find it again.
Drive a Stick – Manual transmissions are getting less and less common. Many people can’t drive them, and that includes those bent on stealing cars.
Anti-Theft Sticker – Car thieves don’t want to be bothered with alarms. A simple sticker that indicates an alarm could be enough to deter the thief.
Park in the Garage – If you have the option, use it! Invest in a storage unit for your stuff, and put the car inside where it’s harder to access.
In case you missed it, make sure you lock your vehicle. It’s tempting to leave it running, especially in the dead of winter when it’s cold outside. But that is when a good portion of the thefts occur. Criminals, working in tandem, will drive the neighborhoods looking for cars idling and warming in the morning. One will jump out and take your car, the other will keep driving. It only takes about 15 seconds.
Drive Safe and Be Safe
Big Sky Collision Center wants you to avoid needing our services. If your vehicle is stolen, there’s a good chance it’s not going to come back to you in pristine condition. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about any of this. Unfortunately, there will always be thieves, and we have to be vigilant to deter them.
If you have been in an accident, had your door dinged, been hit by hail, or been the victim of a theft where the crook damaged your rig, bring it to the best auto body repair shop in Billings. Call 406-259-6328 to learn more.