Keeping Your Car Safe: Former Car Thieves Teach Us Hacks To Help Prevent Theft

By Anthony K

Vehicles offer a great degree of convenience and can let us travel from one place to another more comfortably than commuting using public transport. In addition, you can run errands like grocery runs without worrying about additional delivery charges. With a car, you can go anywhere you desire, anytime. However, it is a fact that anything with perks comes with disadvantages. With numerous factors to consider, car theft is our topic of discussion today. Some previous car thieves who have decided to turn over a new leaf are here to our rescue. If you are looking for the best tips to secure your car, these suggestions are very helpful! Buckle up for 40 tips and tricks to ensure you and your vehicle are as safe as possible.

1. Tinting your Windows

Do you have a habit of keeping cash inside the car? If that is the case, we highly recommend tinting your windows. Besides making your car look more sophisticated and remarkable, they can also play a preventive role against thieves who snoop around. Your vehicle will get the benefits of looking fresher while protecting your items simultaneously.

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Like the “under the seat” trick, tinting your windows is too risky for thieves. They would not want to waste their time with such vehicles. Also, ensure you check the legislation in your locality to know the necessary tinting level. In some locations, there are specific guidelines on tinting. Best to consider this before ending up on the wrong side of the law.

2. Cover your Car

Should you be a resident of this earth’s significantly rainy or cold places, it is very resourceful that you use a car cover overnight. This trick helps prevent snow buildup on your mirrors and windshield, thus safeguarding your car for longer. In addition, this trick helps your vehicle to stay shining for longer.

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On top of this, here’s another fact that will make you consider covering your car. According to this user, car thieves tend to avoid vehicles with car covers because stealing them is more complicated since it is hard to anticipate what you might find beneath the covers. That said, it is time to wrap your vehicle up!

3. Pager to the Rescue

It comes as an industry requirement that cars need to have an in-built alarm that goes off in case someone attempts breaking into your vehicle. Nonetheless, occasionally, even the slightest touches can set your car off. As such, all we can do is ignore sometimes if that happens. Separating legitimate threats from idle ones can be tricky, and you might find yourself responding unnecessarily to harmless situations.

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This can be a considerable challenge when someone is indeed breaking into your car. We do recommend following this advice and acquiring one with a pager. By doing so, you can identify when your alarm is going off and need to check it out.

4. Conceal Your Bags

When driving around with numerous belongings, most people try keeping valuables in the trunk as is expected. In the trunk, items are less likely to be stolen since the thieves will not see them in there. Nonetheless, your car’s trunk is not the only ideal location for keeping your valuables out of reach.

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It is common to face challenges when fitting your valuables in the trunk. Fortunately, there is a solution. Putting them under the seat is equally effective. Most thieves will not risk breaking in only to look if there is something precious there after all.

5. Have your Key with You

Here is some insight that might seem like a cliché to some people, but essential nonetheless. Do not abandon your car keys in the ignition if you make a quick stop in your car. No matter how short a period it may be, you will be wise to carry your keys with you all the time. This precaution ensures no one can access your car and drive off while attending to busy chores.

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Even the shortest opportunities are sufficient for a car thief to get in and drive off. Always ensure you eject the keys and lock the door when stepping out of the vehicle. In this modern era, you cannot just leave things to chance. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry, and losing your car can be depressing.

6. Thievery of Wheels

If you are among individuals who always lock the door and never leave any essentials in the car, you might be thinking you are safe from robbery. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Sadly, there is always something that thieves can get away with.

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For this particular theft, they hardly need to get inside your vehicle. All that they will want to do is extract your wheels. While you may think this can be pointless, they can quickly sell these parts for a load of money, leaving you stranded and in urgent need of spares.

7. Stolen System

We consider some components of our cars too difficult to hide, such as the stereo system. It is a standard feature in most cars today and trying to cover it up whenever you leave your vehicle can be challenging. However, this is not to say you should leave it uncovered when stepping out of your car.

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We strongly recommend covering it when possible, especially after taking the advice from the above user. Stereos are particularly enticing to car thieves. You will do well to remove the faceplate to achieve protection from any lusty eyes to avoid future distress.

8. Document Storage Dilemma

Suppose you are a motor vehicle owner; you probably understand that vehicle ownership comes with paperwork. These requirements include insurance documents and car taxes. It is not uncommon to feel subdued with all the documents you need to keep records of to avoid facing the wrath of the law and ensure your property is secure.

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Here is a tip for you. Whatever you set yourself to do, always remember not to leave your documents inside the car. This is because when a car thief breaks in and steals it, they will have in their possession everything they need to pretend that the vehicle belongs to them and not you. To steer clear of such embarrassments, always keep your documents safe and out of reach from malicious people.

9. Innovative Wheel Lock

Thus far, the trick for securing your vehicle from thieves is by making things as difficult as possible. The more work they will require to do to reach your items, the less likely such people are to steal your car. A wheel lock can come in handy to protect your vehicle from thugs.

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Among the best alternatives to ensuring your car is safe, is by considering the application of a steering wheel lock. This addition prevents anybody from driving the car if they lack the key to unlocking this device. Therefore, a wheel lock makes breaking in and driving off much more challenging.

10. Cash Problems

This next trick is somehow apparent, and probably everyone has given it a try before. Needless to say, you should not leave money lying openly in the car where everyone can see it. Like other precious items, money should be kept out of the vicinity of prying eyes. There are several places to store your cash safely in the car. 

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Whereas some people might keep it there for emergency, it may not be a good idea. If you need to keep money in your vehicle, ensure you place it somewhere out of sight in secret areas like the ashtray or the middle compartment. Leaving money lying around is a recipe for complications.

11. Van Safety

You might think yourself safe from car thieves because you drive a van. Nonetheless, this may not be the case. Some car thieves specifically hunt such vehicles because of the tools present inside. Always keep yourself and your valuables safe with appropriate safety measures.

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Always double-check to make sure the door is locked. Additionally, try to invest in tools that legitimately belong to your manufacturer and are compatible with your ride. You should also adhere to the tips from other entries on our list to keep your vehicle safe.

12. Secure Parking

No one wants to pay for parking since it can sometimes be relatively expensive and appear like a waste of money. Regardless, we strongly advise finding in some riskier locations to find a secure parking space for your car and paying something extra for the safety if you truly adore your car.

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No matter how outrageous the cost of parking the car may be, this amount pales compared to the cost of replacing your vehicle for parts in case it gets stolen. The former can cost you thousands and the emotional loss and anxiety.

13. Car Trademark

Indeed, several factors are within your control that you can apply against car thieves. One such factor is the brand of your car. There seem to be particular models that thieves tend to look out for. All in all, no vehicle is safe from theft. Nonetheless, knowing the common victims can help to influence your decision or improve your car defenses.

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This preference tends to vary each year. Hence, we highly recommend staying on top of things by conducting internet research. Should you discover your model is popular among thieves, it is time to consider applying some of these recommendations. Even if your car is not among the favorites by thieves, you do not need to neglect your measures for extra security. 

14. Identification Plates

After your car is stolen, you may think it is easy to track your vehicle. However, this is not the case. All the thieves need to do is a little bit of unscrewing with a screwdriver, and your number plate is off. Locating your car can be challenging without a number plate and demand extra expenses.

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After removing your number plates, they can then swap the plate for another one, making it appear as though the car is entirely different and they can sell. To outsmart them, consider using security screws to maintain the plate in place.

15. Electronic Cars

People often think having a car with an electronic fuel pump should make life easier. Nonetheless, the reverse is true. Remember, electric cars are particular favorites for thieves owing to their innovative status. Hence, following the recommendation below can be resourceful.

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All that you need to do is run a switch with the advice above. This trick ensures that turning on the fuel pump does not turn the car on. Hence, it gives thieves a hard time while keeping your vehicle safer. This trick will help protect your machine better if you own an electronic car.

16. Swap the Spot

We all drive our cars to a specific routine. Indeed so, when going for work. You may find yourself parking at the same spot regularly. This may not be ideal, and we strongly advise against it. Switching positions makes it difficult to predict your next step and affects the timing by thieves.

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Thieves tend to study where cars typically go. Thus, parking in a similar spot will make their work easier. It would be best if you considered parking in different places every time to make your ride unpredictable to reach and safer.

17. Light Spot Parking

We have probably been advised against parking in a dark area, probably by a relative. There is a reason behind it. Most carjackers often go for cars in darker places when looking for a vulnerable car they can steal. Parking in lit areas offers extra protection since your vehicle can be seen from afar, increasing the possibility of having witnesses in case a robbery occurs.

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Parking your car in lit areas scares away many potential car thieves. Parking in the sun increases your car’s visibility, making it nearly impossible for thieves to commit crimes and escape scot-free. Staying in the sunshine sounds good, right?

18. Cautionary Sticker

We understand that some of the tricks above will somehow be expensive and deservedly so. However, if you are thinking of saving some money while keeping your vehicle safe, we have a solution you should consider adopting. This hack can work with almost any car and has similar effects.

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To cut a long story short, simply hanging a sticker suggesting an installed alarm system is sufficient to prevent criminals. No one has the time to confirm whether the alarm is working or not during a carjacking. That is not to say you are entirely safe since if it is your car they are after, no warnings can be enough to stop them. Nonetheless, hanging a sticker is a good start.

19. Keyhole Trick

If you possess an older vehicle, it is about time you invest in a newer model since you are making yourself vulnerable to thieves. Any car with a keyhole is prone to hacking with a piece of string to open it. Most old cars are difficult to protect since they lack some features that can make your vehicle secure.

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Since most new cars don’t have this feature, they are less susceptible to problems involving keyhole weaknesses. If your vehicle doesn’t have a keyhole, this strategy does not apply to your case. As such, incorporate some of the numerous methods on this list.

20. Motion Sensor Lighting

This cutting-edge light system is worth your investment since, besides protecting your car, it keeps your home secure from potential bandits too. Although they may be more expensive than their counterparts, they are indeed worth every penny. Motion sensor lights go off whenever someone passes nearby. This trick scares off potential thieves.

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According to this user, it is best to ensure that the lights are not hanging too low. Failure to put them high enough can simply snatch the lights and make them irrelevant. Thus, you will need to place them high to be safe.

21. Open Invitation for Everyone

Most car thieves probably get in through the door. In addition, sometimes they can use a sunroof or window for the same reasons. Before leaving your vehicle, it would be best to double-or triple-check to ensure they are closed effectively. All entrances to your car need to be closed when you are away from your vehicle to avoid losing your belongings.

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If you fail to do this, you might discover some of your items suddenly go missing. Car thieves will try many ways of getting into your vehicle. A sunroof can do nothing to stop them if they are zealous enough. Double-checking every time before leaving the car can save you a lot of inconveniences.

22. Suction Condition

One pretty familiar feature in cars today is some type of suction device to secure your phone or other electronic devices in place. This trick can be pretty helpful, especially where you own a Sat Nav. You should, however, be more careful with these.

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Suction cup devices or any other electronic prop signify to thieves that electronics are present. You can attempt to hide the devices from them, yet they will still break in. We suggest that you take out the electronic props altogether to be safe.

23. Mysterious Sound

It is no secret; car thieves continue getting smarter by the day. In some cases, rather than getting your car when you are in parking, they will follow up and prey on you when you leave. But how exactly do they know where to go?

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It is pretty straightforward. All they will do is come up with a distraction to get you outside the car. Occasionally, their options include putting logs on the road to make you get out. Then, they will jump into your vehicle and speed off.

24. Suction Indication

We have already seen the need to remove suction cups from inside your car. However, that trick alone is not enough. You should also ascertain that you wipe down the window to expel any residue left behind by these cups.

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When thieves are scouting around for a suitable car to steal, they keep an eye out for these marks. These marks often indicate that there is probably an expensive material in the car worth stealing, thus setting you up for destruction.

25. Complex Trunk

While this next strategy might seem rather strange, it does work. Thieves often do not go into the trunk for reasons best known to them. We think it may be because opening a trunk can be stressful and more complicated than other methods.

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Whatever the reason, it should come as good news since it means you can secure any precious items in the trunk without having doubts over theft. Moreover, it would help if you still were careful with whatever you keep back there.

26. Documentation Specifics

Most often, we consider only expensive items to be valuable. In addition, it is vital to hide things you can use as your identification, such as passports and essential letters. Should thieves spot such in your car, it will send a strange signal to them. Other vital items, in addition to expensive stuff, need to be kept safe.

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Upon spotting these, the thieves immediately assume that you will be far from the house for a while, making them more comfortable trespassing your property. In a nutshell, always ensure all crucial documents are tucked away safe from prying eyes.

27. Additional Keys

Should you buy a car today, you may also get spare keys. Most people tend to store these items inside the vehicle, which happens to be a grave mistake. In so doing, you make it much simpler for car thieves to take advantage of you. Always consider safe and secure places to store your keys if you seek to avoid complications of forgery.

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It would be safer to store the keys in the house while ensuring it is in a good location to avoid problems with someone robbing your home. Your most ideal option is getting a safe and storing them inside, or a cheaper option is to find a secure area within the house where you can store them properly.

28. On the Uppermost

If you are one of those individuals who travel regularly, you probably have a roof rack or another device sitting atop your vehicle. Besides their efficacy in making things convenient for you, they can also be helpful to car thieves.

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Despite the number of special locks you install on your car, your racks can never be entirely safe from thieves who covet your items. You should take whatever is in your rack inside the house to keep them safe from naughty carjackers.

29. Experts Only

One of the simplest methods of stopping car thieves is by installing a car alarm. You can get this done at most shopping malls offering motorcar services. However, we suggest that you try getting something less obvious to increase your chances of safety. Also, stay on top of things to install the modern versions for better efficacy.

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If you adopt the services of a professional installer, these operatives can identify what thieves specifically look out for when stalking cars. Thus, they can deliver protection from anybody trying to steal your vehicle. There can never be a better way of protecting your vehicle than asking the experts. Their recommendations can help you with the information you need to uphold your security.

30. Carless Keys Solutions

Carless keys are another invention that simplifies things for thieves and car owners alike. Numerous devices in the market can override your car into the opening while thinking the keys are within the vehicle. Therefore, you will do well to consider available protection strategies not to fall victim.

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For prevention, consider buying a cheap Faraday pouch online. This trick helps stop your key signals from getting hijacked and copied on other people’s devices, which means that they cannot trick your vehicle into allowing the thieves to drive off.

31. Kill Switch Option

This next trick is perhaps one of the most effective on our list. Sadly, installing it can be somewhat costly. Kill switches are responsible for stopping the engines from working until you disable them. Usually, they are hidden somewhere challenging to spot, only known to the vehicle’s regular driver.

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Some cars come with multiple kill switches, complicating things even more for thieves. Since they can be pretty demanding, we recommend seeking a professional to install them. However, we can all agree that they are worth the struggle since they appear almost wholly fail-safe.

32. Reverse Parking

All of us prefer parking our cars in different ways. While some prefer the reverse park, others prefer going straight in. If you happen to be among the reverse parkers, we strongly recommend refraining from this activity altogether. There are several disadvantages of parking your car in reverse.

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Reverse parking makes it easier for thieves to steal your car since all they need is to drive away from the vehicle once they get inside. By parking straight on, it will demand more of them before leaving. This can make them get discovered. Trying to navigate the car from the parking spot can be time-consuming, which can prevent your car from getting stolen.

33. Steering Wheel Insights

If you are contemplating a productive method of protecting your vehicle, this is an ideal technique. Whether dead or alive, no one can drive a car safely without using a steering wheel. Proficient as they may be, even thieves are incapable of driving without a steering wheel.

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Installing a removable steering wheel is not hard, and this trick can help save you some money in the long run. The only demerit of this trick is the unavailability of storage space for the extra steering wheel since these things can be pretty big.

34. Baby Monitor to the Rescue

Most of the entries in this article are relatively expensive. Luckily, there is another alternative cares for your car and your pocket that can save you some money. This practice involves putting a baby monitor inside your car to monitor whatever happens.

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Should anyone attempt breaking into your car, you can easily hear and see them doing it. Place the monitor in a discreet and secure place where it can be an excellent way of catching criminals in action. This trick can aid in their capture and retrieval of your vehicle.

35. GPS Tracker Solutions

Most drivers get a GPS tracker installed in their cars to keep them safer. That notwithstanding, thieves can benefit from this technique, too, especially with expensive vehicles. They can hide a GPS tracker somewhere beneath the car and monitor it slowly as they await the opportune moment to strike.

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In that way, they can know precisely where you are and at what time, possibly knowing when your car is parked. Additionally, they will know when your house is free for them to break in. If you seek ways to avoid such inconveniences, you should screen your car continuously to ensure no extra GPS systems are hidden.

36. Coin Catcher Trick

This next trick appears to be a simple yet clever trick that thieves apply to get into your vehicle. By fixing a coin in the door handle, they can confuse your car into assuming the door is secure when it is not. Afterward, all they need to do is wait for you to walk away from the car, then go ahead and steal it.

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Once you leave, all they need to do is open the door and drive off in your absence. They usually apply this trick to the passenger doors. Therefore, ensure you check each car door to confirm they are locked. You may never know!

37. Tire Lock Hack

Another helpful method for protecting your vehicle involves introducing a tire lock on one of the wheels. Even though they can be challenging to install, they will secure your car from theft cases by criminals. It is true to say that no matter the installation difficulty, your vehicle will benefit from additional safety.

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All in all, driving a car containing a tire lock is impossible. This trick can be ideal whereby you seek to park your vehicle for a long time. Remember to keep your keys safe from thieves, too, and keep an eye out for your car.

38. First Impressions Matter

We have shown some different methods of protecting your vehicle. Moreover, it would be best for you to remember that first impressions are very important. Using even a couple of these tricks will make your car way harder to steal.

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When your car is harder to steal, thieves are much less likely to be inclined to bother stealing it. Although no method is feasible or one hundred percent guaranteed, you must leave no stone unturned when thinking of securing your car.

39. Tires In

Here is another simple trick to deter thieves that will not cost you anything extra. It would help if you turned the wheels in to prevent carjackers from making a clean getaway. The wheel lock starts once you get out of the car.

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This option makes it harder to get the wheels out of their prevailing condition. This adds precious minutes to the thieves’ getaway, which can possibly aid in their capture. This trick acts as a very easy fix that is capable of keeping your car safe.

40. Closed Windows Trick

We have already looked at something similar before; however, it is worth repeating a vital point. You need always to ensure that your windows are closed before leaving your vehicle. Honestly, even the slightest gaps count when it comes to thieves.

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The tiniest window can still offer access to your car, meaning a thief could possibly get inside. They can do whatever they like, including stealing your items or driving away with your vehicle. Always check again to ensure the windows are closed to avoid such encounters. Knowing your vehicle is safe from intruders and thieves offers peace of mind.