Car theft is on the rise; Five ways to protect your vehicle.

Auto thefts continue to be on the rise.  According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), 2023 was a record breaking year for auto thefts across the country, with Oregon ranking ninth with an auto theft rate of 394 per 100,000.  Criminals are using more advanced technology to find weaknesses allowing them to bypass even the most modern security systems.  While the NICB is continually working with State and national law enforcement to curb auto thefts, there are precautions vehicle owners can take to lower the chances of being a victim of auto theft. 

Here are five ways individuals can protect their cars:

  • Install an Alarm System: Despite more sophisticated criminal technology, a  car alarm is still one of the most effective deterrents against theft. Modern alarm systems come with various features such as motion sensors, sirens, and even remote notification to your phone if there’s a breach. Ensuring that your alarm is prominently displayed can deter potential thieves.
  • Use Steering Wheel Locks or Wheel Clamps: Steering wheel locks and wheel clamps are physical barriers that make it difficult for thieves to drive or tow away your vehicle. These devices are highly visible and act as a strong visual deterrent. Thieves are less likely to target a car with such obstacles in place.
  • Park in Well-Lit Areas: Parking your car in well-lit areas, especially at night, reduces the likelihood of theft. Thieves prefer dimly lit places where they can work undisturbed. Parking under streetlights or in monitored parking lots can make your car less attractive to thieves.
  • Install a GPS Tracking System: GPS tracking systems allow you to monitor your vehicle’s location in real-time. If your car is stolen, you can track its movements and quickly inform law enforcement, increasing the chances of recovery. Some advanced systems even allow you to remotely disable the engine, immobilizing the vehicle until authorities arrive.
  • Hide Valuables Out Of Sight :  If you must leave something of worth in your car, keep them out of sight where they will not tempt a thief; A trunk or a locked glove box for example.  Even items that may not be valuable but could catch the eye of a criminal should be tucked away.

By implementing these measures, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of car theft and protect their vehicles from unauthorized access.

If your vehicle is stolen, call law enforcement and your insurer immediately because reporting a vehicle as soon as possible after it is stolen increases the chance of recovery.  Proper auto insurance can help protect you from costs related to car theft as well as other types of auto incidents such as  accidents, damage and injuries.  Contact the team at EPB&B insurance today  to review your auto insurance  policy

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