HOW TO: Stop thieves in their tracks
FEW things are more distressing than returning to where you left your car to find it’s been stolen. Car theft costs the Australian community millions of dollars every year, but it is more personal when it is your car that has been taken. But here are some things to be aware of and tips to help you put a clamp on car thieves.
❑ Car thieves target everything. The car itself, valuables left on show inside, even the number plates. They are sometimes stolen by opportunistic thieves to go joyriding or for transport home or by professional thieves to use in serious crimes.
❑ ✓ Most cars that are stolen are older models. Popular examples such as older Commodores and Falcons aren’t equipped with the security features fitted to current models.
❑ ✓ Fit an ignition immobiliser if your car doesn’t have one. It not only makes it more difficult for car thieves, you can often get a discount on your insurance.
❑ ✓ Attach the number plates to your car with
irreversible screws. They have a head that can only be turned one way, so they cannot be unscrewed or even loosened without a special tool. ✓ Don’t leave valuables on
❑ show inside your car. Take them with you or stow them in the boot. That includes computers, mobile phones, satnavs, brief cases, tools. Hide anything that a thief might fancy.
❑ Don’t leave the keys in the ignition. And certainly don’t leave the engine running while you duck into the milk bar. This is an open invitation to an opportunistic thief.
❑ ✓ Don’t leave the car keys in plain sight when you’re out. Thieves often break into houses looking for the keys.