If someone steals your car or truck, information often goes along
That motor vehicle theft could mean the loss of your personal identification, registration, and insurance papers, and even mail that you might have in the car with you.You don't have to be at the mercy of car thieves. See the vehicle protection tips in the Garages section below.
Again, motor vehicle theft, or theft of any kind is a crime of opportunity. Let’s not give a thief the opportunity.
Just as you have "levels of layering" (taking multiple steps) for the safety of your house, it is also an excellent idea to practice these levels of layering for the safety of your vehicles.
The more security measures a thief has to bypass, the better off you are, and the more likely the thief is to move on to an easier target.
Installing a vehicle-tracking device is a great way to pinpoint your vehicle in minutes if it’s stolen.
Thieves are less likely to steal a car if they believe it can be recovered so quickly, especially if the thief is still in it.
Installing a wheel lock mechanism is another popular choice, or the Auto-Lock that hooks around your brake pedal's bracket. I have this, and have had very good luck with it.
Something else to look into is an engine or fuel cut-off switches.
Safeguard yourself from all identity theft scams with knowledge of how these scams can steal your identity.
The thieves were stealing all these high-end luxury cars so they could hock all the valuable parts.
Remember the movie ”Gone in 60 seconds”? This gives you an accurate picture of how huge this car theft industry is and how far it reaches.
It’s not surprising that a thief would target the top selling cars. This is primarily for a couple of reasons.
Reports can be anonymous. Contact the NICB office at 1-800-TEL-NICB (835-6422) or visit www.NICB.org.
The FBI also has a new website www.lookstoogoodtoobetrue.gov for more tips.
Also popular for motor vehicle theft are the ’89 Toyota Camry, ‘97 Ford F-150, ‘95 Civic and the ’91 Honda Accord. These have continually been the most stolen cars in the nation since 2006.
Older model cars are the biggest target of motor vehicle theft because older cars are much easier to access than newer models. The less time a thief spends stealing your car, the smaller the chance of him getting caught.
One of the newer techniques of motor vehicle theft includes vehicle identification number (VIN) cloning and switching.
“Cloning” is forging ownership vehicle registration documents and numbers to create multiple vehicles with the same VIN. This is a bit more high tech and normally done through DMV-type fraud.
Here is an example of VIN switching. The thief steals a 2004 Honda Civic, replaces it’s VIN with the license plate numbers and VIN of a different 2004 Honda Civic (very possibly yours) so, when the police check those plates, the only name that comes up is yours.
Another popular action of motor vehicle theft used to try to outwit someone is called “shaving keys”.
This particular VIN-related crime requires someone copying your VIN number and having a “replacement” key made at a dealership.
This ploy uses similar car keys with the sides shaved off to start older vehicles, including certain Toyota, Honda, and Saturn models.
As statistics nationwide show, the older models of these vehicles are often the targets of thieves, although the manufacturers have solved these shaved keys problems.
It is possible for this to happen, perhaps by a person that works at one of the dealerships; however, legitimate dealers require proof of ownership before they issue a duplicate key, and forging documents is not an easy thing to do.
A car thief’s most common method of operation are things that are quick, easy and doing them while being undetected.
Many states have programs that help people recover their stolen property. If you were like me, you would like to keep this from happening to you in the first place.
Remember! The more attractive you make it for a car thief, the quicker he will take advantage of the opportunity you have created for him.
Motor vehicle theft is made easy for a thief if you leave your car sitting in the driveway or the street with the doors unlocked, windows down or the keys in the car.
Yes! people really do this. With no visible signs of self-defense, it probably won’t be there when you return.
This is making motor vehicle theft so easy for a thief.
I know people that leave their cars and other recreational vehicles/motorcycles with the keys in them.
Others have vehicles in a garage and, for some reason, this makes them feel secure enough to leave the keys and the remote to the garage in the car.
In some cases I know of, people will leave the car keys on a hook in the garage or right inside the door from the garage into the house. This Is Not Safe!
only gives you a false sense of security. It's also a great opportunity for
a motor vehicle theft if your garage/house is broken into.
For more information to protect your house and business, review these home security tips.
Once he has a key, a thief can made a copy. If he knows you'll be away, he can come back with a "buddy" who is a mechanic and together they steal your expensive and/or classic car, and any other valuable "toys" you might have.
They'll use your car to haul away
more “goodies”. If they had no easy access to your car, they probably wouldn't take the time to try to steal it, and would have no easy way to haul away the extras. They'd have to look for luggage or duffel bags to take it away.
We are all taught to carry our registration and insurance cards in the glove compartment.
These days, with motor vehicle theft on the rise, it is not a safe thing to do.
Most glove boxes don’t even lock anymore, so it is a much better bet to keep these items in your purse or wallet. Again, if your car is broken into or stolen, this information gives the thief immediate access to where you live. This is one more nightmare you don't need.
****Also, make sure you don’t leave your garage door opener in the car and make sure you set the car alarm.****
In Arizona, police offered a free window etching service. Often a coded series of digits, the permanent numbers are a visible deterrent to thieves who would rather save themselves time and money and not have to replace all vehicle glass before an illegal sale.
Etching every car window is a great idea and a great deterrent against motor vehicle theft.
In Tennessee, police passed out thousands of “Park Smart” business cards at downtown parking garages warning people of motor vehicle theft.
The police advised car owners to “lock your vehicle, secure your valuables and make sure you take your keys with you”.
It’s not for the reason of years ago. Back then, your plate was switched because you stole a car.
The thief does not want to pay for any of the above, and especially, does not want to have the car registered with the DMV.
Interestingly enough, if you steal the plates, it is a misdemeanor charge of petty theft; but, if you are trying to avoid fees by stealing the plates, this is a felony charge for trying to defraud the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The most effective way to prevent this theft is to attach the plates with a special screw. A star-head or hex-head screw, which you can buy at an automotive store, is your best bet.
Think about it though; it is a safer action for the thief to take to safeguard himself.
If you come out in the morning and find your whole car gone, you would evidently notice this and do something about it right away.
If your plates are missing, your chances of realizing that are much slimmer.
I am including this because of something my sister relayed to me as we were discussing this.
I remember years ago, thieves were stealing the tags off the back license plate and putting it on their own (must be nice to have some hard worker pay for your tag).
My sister remembered her husband taught her to take a razor or knife and put a few diagonal cuts in the tag.
If the thief tried to steal it, the tag would peal off in pieces and really wouldn’t be useable. It would look really funky and very noticeable to the police.
My sister and family claim I remember so many things that happened in the past that they don't remember, but they got me on this one. I do Not remember this particular one.
Darn! And here I thought I was perfect. Oh, well!
At one point in my life, I lived in a remote area in California. My car was a classic and worth quite a bit of money. We had no garage, and the car was very vulnerable to motor vehicle theft.
At this time, there was not a lot of “high tech” stuff. To keep my car safe from motor vehicle theft, especially during the “wee” hours, was a big consideration.
My husband had an old work van, and we would put the front end of my classic a ½ inch away from the wall at the front of the house and “snug” the bumper of the van right up to the bumper of my car.
In this manner, it prevented motor vehicle theft and kept a thief from driving off with my car.
To add insult to injury, we would also disable the battery for good measure.
It’s a good thing we did this, as one night my husband caught some guy trying to steal my car.
If I hadn’t taken the steps I did to prevent motor vehicle theft and to keep the thief from stealing what was mine, he would have had himself a “sweet” classic.
Putting an alarm on your car may stop motor vehicle theft from happening to you, by calling attention to the fact that someone is trying to tamper with, or steal your car.
The thief certainly does not want to draw attention to himself or alert a possible witness.
When you come home for the night and put your keys away -Remember! Your car remote is a security alarm that requires no installation and you probably have one already.
It will go off from most anywhere inside your house, but make sure you test it before you rely on it.
The alarm will keep your battery honking until you reset it with the button on your key chain or, your battery goes dead.
This also works if you park your car in your driveway or garage. If a thief is breaking into your house, or car, and your alarm goes off, chances are the thief won’t stick around.
By this time, all the neighbors will be awake and looking out their windows wanting to find out what all the noise is about.
In my case, I used a “Club” for years. Then the thieves started cutting the steering wheels to bypass the club so they could steal the cars. Motor vehicle theft became a lot easier.
I switched to the “auto lock”, and didn’t have any problems after that. I use this even if my car is in the garage.
With all the "levels of layering" (taking multiple steps) of protection I have in and around my garage, I still feel that if the garage is broken into somehow, this will make it almost impossible for motor vehicle theft.
They would have to spend far too much time trying to bypass all the security measure I have in place.
Here’s a great idea, especially if you or a family member is forgetful about closing and locking doors behind them.
Install a garage door sentry system. This tells you if someone has left the garage door open.
This is especially convenient if you are in another part of the house and can’t visually see the garage door or if someone else has opened it.
Another excellent idea is to have a key-less lock on the outside of the house/garage.
Each person has his or her own personal code to punch in the pad to enter the house/garage.
This saves anyone in the family from losing the keys and having those keys floating around or landing in the hands of a thief.
Having a garage that faces an alley or, in the case of many homeowners with an older home whose garage they converted into a workshop, you need to take special precautions against motor vehicle theft and keep your home safe.
I’ve done this in every house I’ve lived in. It is, again, a double layer of protection.
In my experience, the American commercial lock is a super lock; however you must have a hasp (a hinged fastening for a door, gate, etc.) that stands up to someone attacking the hasp and trying to get in, or the lock will be of no use.
Your first priority is to bolt through whatever you’re attaching the hasp to. Just screwing it in is not going to secure it.
You must support this by a steel back plate on the other side of the door, that the bolts will also pass through.
In this way, the back plate and hasp are held in place by the same nuts. For a thief to enter, he would have to take out the area and the entire plate for the bolts to be pulled out.
You can buy steel boxes that are attachable, four sided and bolt through the door with a shrouded hasp that protects the lock itself from a direct strike.
On one property I owned, I wasn’t able to find that item I was looking for, so I had my niece’s husband weld one for me.
You can prevent access from both the top and the sides by attaching the unit to the door, but that still allows access to the lock from below.
My niece’s husband slotted it so the levered door handles slid in and locked in place. He also used this slotted box in his truck, and it is also good to use for cargo containers.
Vehicles are especially vulnerable to motor vehicle theft, and this is exceptionally true when living in an apartment complex.
This is a dream come true for a thief.
apartment complex is a veritable supermarket of vehicles for the thief
to choose from.
Often, the thief will see another model they want and will make a return trip for it later.
It is still a debatable issue whether alarms deter a thief intent on motor vehicle theft, but I feel any auto anti theft device is better than nothing and it is a fact your insurance rate will be lower.
I feel anything you do to increase your chances of keeping your car safe, is a good thing.
It is also a debatable issue as to whether having a LoJack, GPS or the OnStar label on your car deters thieves from attempting motor vehicle theft.
Thieves love it when you do this and makes it so easy for motor vehicle theft.
I have seen so many people leave their vehicle running for just a second to let it warm up, or to just run in the store. This is all the time it takes a thief to take off with your car.
You have probably seen many cases in the news where a child was left in the running car while a parent dashed into the store. Upon returning, both the car and child were gone, stolen by a thief.
Most times the thief wasn’t even aware a child was there until blocks away.
Don’t Make It So Easy For The Thief. Don’t let your guard down and become complacent in taking steps to ensure the safety of your property and loved ones.
I have more detailed steps you can take in home security tips. Taking multiple steps might seem an inconvenience, but the nightmare of what will happen if you don’t, far outweighs the inconvenience.
Motor vehicle theft is big business but, so is stealing motorcycles.
If you own a motorcycle, be sure you put it in a locked garage.
Motorcycle theft may not be as big a business as motor vehicle theft, but it’s much easier and still very common.
One of my relatives bought a brand new Harley and, until he was able to clear space in his garage, he brought the Harley in at night and parked it in the living room!!
I can hear all the ladies groaning now! My niece was very tolerant to go along with this for awhile.
Wen I lived in apartment complexes, motor vehicle theft happened, but so did motorcycle theft.
I had neighbors who had a very expensive bike, and they would use the encased steel cord and thread the cable through the body, the front wheel and around a reinforced pole in their carport.
This prevents a thief from being able to steal it by taking off the front wheel.
The round chromed lock (D100 series) has held up against endless attempts by professional criminals to break through these locks.
The hasp locks 5300/630/748 series brings the thief to a dead stop even if bolt cutters are used. You are not going to cut or hammer these hasps off.
As I said, it is best to put your expensive bike in a garage with a reinforced metal door and the above lock system; but, if a garage or shed is not available, at least use the cable and lock system.
I have used what Cobra puts out. The case-hardened unit has a circular ball bearing locking system, which is one of the hardest locks to pick.
A friend of mine owns vending businesses and uses this type of safety measure to stop being ripped off. I have also personally used this lock for various reasons.
Whatever product or service you use, do your research before investing in anything. It is wise to be informed and educated on subjects that can affect your property and life.
It is preferable to use the same type of safety measure for your bicycle that you do for your motorcycle, and don’t leave it lying around somewhere.
Unfortunately, kids have a habit of doing this, and I did it as a kid also; but back then, our bikes were very seldom stolen.
If a bike is left lying around today, you’ll be lucky to ever see it again. This is too tempting, and makes it so easy for a thief.
If a thief has to work hard for what he steals, he most likely will look for another victim. Remember, crime is a matter of opportunity. Don’t make it easy for a thief! It’s a sad fact of life, but that’s how things are.
If you live in an apartment, take your bike inside, especially at night; or, as with motorcycles, you should chain your bike to something that will take a great deal of work to move or pick up.
Motor vehicle theft, theft of motorcycles, bikes, heavy equipment etc, is a crime of convenience and opportunity. If stealing your property takes a lot of work, the thief will most likely move on to an easier target.
Anything that can be attached to a trailer and towed such as trailers, boats, and heavy equipment, also needs to be protected from being stolen by thieves.
If possible, it is best to keep your trailers/RV/heavy equipment inside a fenced area or in a locked building.
The more deterrents you use, the more likely you are to keep your property protected.
This one is extremely important! Even more so if you have a business that deals with expensive items such as electronics, TV’s, Home Theaters, etc.
If you deal with high-end items such as motorcycles, cars, or boats that are considered high value items that attract the attention of professional thieves, you must pay special attention to protecting yourself.
If your business is such that you also have a lot of acreage around your building, make sure you add several layers of protection.
Considering the way it is installed, it is unstable to crawl through or over, and is flexible. Correctly installed, it is not tension that keeps it in place, but the anchors at the bottom of each loop.
Barbed wire springs back when cut, razor wire doesn’t. It is a waste of time to cut correctly installed razor wire because the wire stays in place.
Educate yourself on more do it yourself home security for more ways to protect your business and home.
Important! You need to check your local ordinances to make sure they allow razor wire at all.
There is usually a minimum fence height for its installation.
Make sure you check this out for yourself. Don’t rely on a sales person for the company who sells this to tell you the truth.Remember, they're in the business to sell you this wire.
If you hire a security guard, make sure you do a criminal background check. So many states don't require a background check or a licensing check.
It's beyond me to understand why! The liability of the company could be devastating.
If I hire someone to guard my valuables, I certainly want to make sure I haven't hired someone that has a criminal background who then has the opportunity to steal me blind, especially since he will most likely also be carrying a weapon.
That's Like Hiring A Fox To Guard The Hen House!
A friend of mine hired retired police officers to protect his business. No matter who you hire, make sure you do the criminal background check for your own protection.
I’ve worked in many large companies that had security guards 24/7 and many that had guards at night
To make sure the guards are patrolling everywhere they should, the companies had patrol stations where they had to clock in on a regular basis to prove they were really making their rounds
Security companies are notorious for paying a low wage, which also results in an “I don’t care” attitude.
Besides doing your own investigation into which company to use, ask other businesses what company they use. Ask if they are satisfied, how long they have had them, and how reliable are they.
If you receive a number of good recommendations on a particular company, it’s time to start checking them out.
Ask the guard how long he has been with the company and make sure you run that background and criminal check on him/her.
Don’t Overlook This! It's critically important for your safe keeping and protection of all you have worked so hard for.
Learn more tips at
Many of the tips for business identity theft for protecting your business are the same as the ones for your garage. If you have employees, there are other considerations to consider.
I have a longtime friend named Wes, who owns his own classic auto repair shop. Wes has had his shop for years, but recently decided to keep his collection of classic cars at his shop.
Wes has many unique security problems due to specializing in such a high profile/high crime business as classic cars.
Motor vehicle theft was a very high possibility because of this.
He has many customers and business clients that come in and out of the shop during the day as well as many employees. Wes also had to be extra careful because his shop has a door that goes to an alley in the back of his business.
He installed a 4” dead bolt on a solid metal door, front and back, and with an extra bar across the back door.
This strengthens the door and distributes the force over a larger area if a thief tries to force his way in. It also stops the door from being jarred enough to compromise the locks to break in.
Another tip is to put hinges on the "Inside" for added safety.
One special item Wes put in was a pretty cool and unusual deterrent against motor vehicle theft and to keep his business safe.
Although Wes had this installed in his business for a long time, I also saw this on “It Takes a Thief”.
Wes has a high tech non-toxic smoke screen that activates if someone were lucky enough to get by all the other layers of security.
This fills the room up quickly with a smoke screen, leaving the thief unable to see what he’s doing.
Because of his high profile business, and the necessity to monitor his employees and all the traffic during the day he installed video surveillance for all areas of his business.
To save filming “dead space”, or nothing, you can get what’s called a motion detector activated surveillance installed.
There is also a camera system that is set to be accessed via the internet so you can check on your home or business from anywhere in the world.
Wes also had an outside siren and glass breaking sensors installed.
You have many options to pick from so be sure you investigate which system will work best for you.
Wes also assigned an electronic beeper to all his employees for door entry. Each employee has a beeper with his or her own personal code, and the system keeps an automatic electronic record of anytime each individual arrives and departs.
It is much safer than having a bunch of keys floating around that could get lost or stolen.
This system has worked out very well for Wes and his business.
Wes took the time to investigate all the potential problems and what measures he could take to safeguard himself and his business and deter motor vehicle theft.
The impact of not "going the extra distance" would have the potential to totally ruin him financially and make a nightmare of his life.
Taking the time to implement all the above safety measures has truly given Wes peace of mind and kept his business and life safe from identity theft and motor vehicle theft.
The electronic record and video can also be a backup for any problem that comes up. It is a great deterrent for any employee that might entertain any wrong thoughts.
Wes did all the credit/criminal background checks which should greatly cut down the chance of future problems.
It is also an excellent idea to use identity theft software to protect your personal computer/laptop and the information you keep on it.
As I mentioned to you previously, this information is an identity thief’s dream, and they can do incredible damage with all this information.
You need to make sure all your business information and valuables are kept in a safe that is bolted to the floor so it cannot be carried out by thief/thieves using a hand cart.
Using these motor vehicle theft tips will be well worth your time and become second nature after doing them a few times.
Do you have a question about motor vehicle theft or have you had an experience with it that you can share to help others avoid this type of tragedy?