The United States has seen an increase in vehicle theft and break-ins over the years, with a shocking theft rate of one every 21 seconds. If you were to combine this with the vehicles that are broken into but not actually stolen, then you would find that there are $1.2 billion worth of valuables being stolen every single year. The numbers are pretty bad, but the most important thing to note, is that the burglar needs just thirty seconds to enter your vehicle and remove the valuables from the vehicle. The thing to remember, is that nearly all vehicle break-ins are opportunity based. This means that they’re not part of some elaborate plan; no one is typically staking out your vehicle and planning the ultimate heist. Everything is planned on the spot, the moment they see your vehicle, and with that being the case, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that your vehicle does not in fact become a target of opportunity. You want to make sure that the only way to get into your vehicle without a key, is through the services of an automotive locksmith.

Tip #1: Visibility is Key

You need to make sure that your vehicle is visible the majority of the time; people aren’t going to break into it if it’s parked under a street lamp or sitting out in the open. They tend to like easy targets, out of the way, with little chance of being caught. Statistically, 25% of vehicle break-ins occur with vehicles that are left unlocked, so keep your doors locked tight and your windows rolled up.

Tip #2: Keep your Valuables Out of Sight

Remember what we said about visibility? It’s the exact opposite when it comes to the valuables in your car. If you can’t stop a thief from breaking into your car, try to remember that most robberies are still all about opportunity they will grab what they can, and get out. The glove box is an easy target, and a spot that thieves often look, so if you want to safeguard your valuables, relocate them to the trunk when you’re parking in public. It’s a little inconvenient, but it could save you a lot of trouble in the long term. Not all valuables need to be hidden away, of course. Some of the most common include purses, phones, MP3 players, tablets, computers, and essentially any electronics that you own.

Words of Advice

Any automotive locksmith will give you this simple advice: in addition to your regular valuables, avoid leaving behind clues that you might own them. For example, you can hide your laptop well, but if you leave a charging cord sitting on the front seat, they’re going to know you have it, and they will go looking for it, even if it is a minor inconvenience. Additionally, try to avoid leaving mail visible, as this will give them your address. Finally, don’t keep a spare key in your vehicle. Don’t put one under the visor, don’t put it in a magnetic lock box in the wheel well thieves know where to look, and all this will accomplish is handing them your valuables AND your car.

One of the best things that you can do, apart from following the tip that we mentioned above, is outfitting your vehicle with a security system. Anti-theft devices, such as a wheel lock and flashing LED’s will keep thieves away from your car, and your valuables in your possession.