No matter what kind of automobile you drive, it’s important to be aware that car theft is on the rise nationwide.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car theft was up 16.5 percent in 2021 relative to 2019.
That's a lot.
And today’s savvy car thieves not only target the entire car but specific parts.
This week, let’s take a look at the top seven commonly stolen car parts and talk about how to prevent those thefts from happening in the first place.
It can take just a couple of minutes to pop a hood and remove a car battery and today’s car thieves are going after them with gusto. No battery. No driving. So be mindful of protecting your car's battery. Some ideas: Buy a battery lockbox, which is a device that actually locks your battery in the car. You can invest in an alarm if your older luxury car doesn't have one. Or you could invest in a hood lock.
It’s a well known fact that thieves can target your older luxury car just to take the stereo system. You can head this off by purchasing a stereo system for your older luxury car with a detachable faceplate so when thieves are searching for signs of a nice system they are less likely to notice yours inside the car.
Garage Door Openers
Thieves take these because it allows them to get into your garage – maybe even before you notice the opener is gone. At that point, the car criminal can take anything from your garage that he/she desires. It may be so obvious it goes without saying but: Don’t leave your garage door opener in full sight within your car
Tires and Wheels
They aren’t cheap, and the bad guys know this. They arrive with tools in hand and before you can even turn on the porch light, those items are gone and impossible to track, making them an easy sale for thieves. If you live in a congested or high-crime city you might invest in wheel locks and consider turning your wheels at a sharp angle if you have to park on the street. This makes it more difficult for thieves to take off your wheels.
Tailgate thefts are on the rise across the country. Some cars have easy-to-remove tailgates, making them a particularly hot commodity (no pun intended). For your older luxury automobile, you can purchase a tailgate lock to keep thieves from removing your tailgate.
Stealing catalytic converters is a big trend in car theft activities. And it's not cheap to replace if yours is stolen. Especially on a luxury car, where they can run thousands of dollars. How do you know yours has been stolen? You start your car and instead of turning on, you are greeted with a horrible noise. Catalytic converters are made of several different metals that can be sold for $20-$200 for these metals. Protect yours before it's too late. You can actually buy a security device that is attached to the converter, making it more difficult to take.
Third Row Seats
Got an older luxury SUV? Then your entire third row of seats may be at risk for theft. That's right bad guys are lifting entire rows of seats out and re-selling them for cash. Police groups recommend using a bicycle lock to keep them safe.
Other car theft prevention tips via Consumer Reports:
- Always park in safe, well-lit areas; If you have access to a garage, use it.
- If you must park on the street, do your best to pick an area with plenty of light and visibility. Thieves don’t want to be seen when they’re at work.
- Always lock your car. Thieves are going to hit unlocked vehicles first.
- Don’t leave valuables in the car, which is just asking for trouble. Or, if you must protect them with a lock box.
- Consider a window tint: If thieves can’t see what’s in your car, they might not try to break in. If you do tint your windows, make sure to follow state laws.
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