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Tip Center - Auto Theft Techniques

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, auto theft is a very profitable business, generating nearly $8 billion a year. Despite declining auto theft rates, business continues to grow in the United States due to the ever increasing value of cars.

It's an awful feeling to be a victim of auto theft. According to the FBI, auto theft occurs about every 30 seconds in the United States, so if you are a victim, don't feel alone. Stolen-Property.com is here to help. Stolen-property.com is the largest international auto theft database, it's both free and easy to search and report auto theft.

The Most Common Ways Auto Theft Occurs And How To Avoid Them

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This is a list of the most common ways auto theft occurs. Knowing this can help defend yourself from being a victim.

  • Checking for an alarm system. Throughout the years, people have been conditioned to ignoring car alarms on the account a loud motorcycle or truck can set a car alarm off. People's senses are so dulled to these car alarms, car alarms are often ignored while a car is being stolen. Prevention - instead of using a car alarm that just makes noise, use a car alarm that has a pager that alerts you if the alarm is activated. Another excellent prevention for auto theft is an ignition disabler. This makes it unable to start the car without pressing the hidden ignition disable switch.
  • Smash and grab. The most common form of auto theft; breaking a window, grabbing what ever it is the thief is after and running away. Prevention - always remove anything of value from plain sight. The majority of crime is "crime of opportunity." Also, if you have a stereo with a removable face plate, bring it with you instead of leaving it under the seat or in the glove box.
  • Drive off in a car with the keys in it. Auto thieves case out ATM's, movie rental store drop offs or other businesses with quick drop off or pick up. When a person walks away from a running car, they jump in and the car is stolen. Prevention - never leave your car running or with the keys in it for even a moment, that's all it takes for an auto theft to occur.
  • Cutting a steering wheel. If you have a steering wheel locking device to deter from auto theft, a thief will actually cut the steering wheel to remove the anti-theft device. Prevention - invest in a "kill switch" that disables your vehicle from starting.
  • Disabling the alarm system. Professional auto thieves know how to disable a car alarm within 15 seconds if they know what kind it is. Prevention - when having an alarm system installed in your car, go to a professional alarm installer instead of a big retail chain store. Also, do not advertise with car alarm brand stickers. This tips professional thieves off when they know how to disable certain alarm makes.
  • Auto theft using back up or spare keys. Many stolen vehicles are done so with the actual car keys. Prevention - Don't ever leave or "hide" any spare or back up key in the car or under the bumper in a magnetic key holder as thieves do look for these.
  • Stealing vehicles from big parking lots. Thieves often case out big parking lots such as that at sporting events or concerts. Prevention - park in secured, well lit parking lots when possible, especially ones with attendants on duty.