Quick and Easy Ways to Put Off Car Thieves

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thief breaking into the car

There’s good news about the crime rate in America, as estimates in violent crimes have decreased for the 2nd straight year in 2018. In the case of property crime, car theft has likewise decreased by 3.1% from last year, but the trend in individual states tell a different story.

Right here in Charleston, car theft increased by 7.07% in 2018. This shows that while you can sleep a bit more peacefully with the general downtrend in crime, you should still be vigilant. And that’s especially true when it comes to protecting your car from theft here in Charleston, SC.

In this article, we offer some tips that can help you avoid becoming victim to car theft.

1. Use a Quick-Release Steering Wheel

It may seem like a gimmicky modification to your car, but it’s a great deterrent for car thieves. Choose a quality quick-release steering hub, and thieves will be hesitant to go through the trouble of taking your ride. Install a model that has a unique locking mechanism so thieves can’t just slap on any other detachable steering wheel.

2. Use a Baby Monitor

As childish as it may sound, using a baby monitor is a surprisingly good security option. For less than $100, you can place a video camera on the dashboard of your car. The monitor can remotely give you a 360° view, and detect if anyone is trying to break into or has broken into your car. Some models even have night vision and a motion detector that sends alerts to your phone.

3. Turn the Wheels

When parking on the street, don’t make it easy for thieves to tow away your car. Before you exit your parked car, turn the wheels towards the pavement so they just can‘t tow away or drag the car onto a flatbed truck.

4. Get the Windows Tinted

Placing tint on the windows of your car isn’t only good for protecting you from harmful UV rays or keeping the interior cooler when it’s hot. The dark tint can effectively discourage thieves from playing a guessing game and risk wasting time or garnering unwanted attention after smashing a window. Be sure to get the window tinting that’s legal within the state, and check out window tinting services here in Charleston SC to compare prices.

5. Install a Kill Switch

Thanks to advancements in car security tech, you may install James Bond-ish security measures like a kill switch. Some models are simple, hidden switches that need to be pressed in a certain sequence to prevent the engine from shutting off, and some are more complicated. You may have to pay for a monthly tracking service that will give you your car’s location via GPS, and kill the engine remotely.

6. ALWAYS Lock your Car

close up shot of a car's engine button

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how many car thieves steal cars simply by opening the door. In California, as many as 31,185 car thefts were made easy by recklessness—the owners left their keys in the car.

There are several ways you can foil or discourage thieves from taking your car or what’s in it. They can be as simple as always locking your doors even if you’re parked in your driveway, and not leaving any of your valuables in the car where they can be seen. Don’t take even the simplest of these measures for granted. Despite the fact that none of them can guarantee zero theft, you should apply them to at least make your car a less easy target.