It was only a short time ago when you could leave the car unlocked, and even running, without some car thief seeing it as an open invitation to just take the thing and run. Ok, maybe it wasn’t something that happened in your or my lifetime, but it did happen, right up there with keeping the front door unlocked and people actually asking their neighbor for a cup of sugar. Sadly, there is a need for more protection around us, including the car we FINALLY paid off.
July is Watch Your Vehicle Month (yes, it’s actually a real thing), and thanks to our friends at the Texas DMV, here are a few ways you can keep an eye on your car without having to literally keep an eye on it every minute of the day:
- Keep CDs, books, clothes and other personal belongings out of sight. Do not leave behind valuables, such as cell phones, laptops, instruments, purses or wallets.
- Stop idling. Whether you’re “warming up” your vehicle or making a quick trip inside the gas station, running vehicles left unattended become tempting targets for thieves.
- Don’t leave loose change in the console or cup holder. Thieves may break into your vehicle for a small amount of change.
- Store your garage door opener in your glove compartment or take it with you. Garage door openers allow access into your home. Thieves can use left-behind mail or an insurance card to learn your address.
- Ask valets and auto repair shops to not leave the keys in your vehicle if it will be unattended.
- Always keep your keys with you — never leave them in the vehicle.
- Lock your vehicle.
- Park in well-lit, high-traffic areas, and use a car alarm if possible.