Like our vehicles theft prevention is personal. It can come in many forms and be utilized in many different ways. There is no wrong answer to theft prevention as long as, it works, it is reasonable, legal, and utilized. With that said, it is important to know some key elements about theft prevention, specifically when it comes to anti-theft systems. Many newer models of vehicles come with some form of anti-theft prevention devices included. It is important to know how these systems work so that we can ensure they are being use to their fullest extent and offer the best security possible.
Passive and Active Anti-Theft Systems
Passive and active anti-theft devices are the two options available when considering an anti-theft system.
Passive devices automatically arm themselves when the vehicle is turned off, the ignition key removed, or a door is shut. No additional action is required. Examples of this type of system is the PASS Lock system, automatic locking doors when the key fob has move a predetermined distance from the vehicle.
Active devices require some independent physical action before they are set, such as pushing a button, or placing a "lock" over a vehicle component part. This physical action must be repeated every time the anti-theft device is set or it will not function. Examples of these type of devices include steering wheel locks, brake locks, after market alarms and kill switches.
Things to know and have about your vehicle
While you may not be able to prevent your vehicle from being stolen, despite every precaution, you can take many of the following steps in advance and being prepared may ultimately help law enforcement recover your vehicle more quickly and reduce your expenses.
If you discover that your vehicle has been stolen, notify law enforcement immediately. Speed will be essential in recovering any stolen cars; any delay in reporting only helps the thieves. Be prepared to provide the vehicle's make, model, color, license plate number, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Take pictures of your vehicle and have them on your phone. Include any distinguishing marks like decals, pin striping, or unrepaired body damage in a specific place.
Keep a photocopy of your vehicle registration and insurance card in your wallet or at home or simply snap a photo of it on your phone. This will enable you to provide information quickly to law enforcement and your insurance claims agent.
Etch the VIN number on all window glass of the vehicle.
Make your vehicle easier to identify. One way is to write your initials on an index card and drop it in the window slot, or carefully engrave your initials inside the trunk, hood, tailgate or even the dashboard near the VIN number. This a great step to take for all those items that are easily removed from your vehicle like spare tires, rims, aftermarket bumpers, etc.
Review your insurance policy annually. Don't wait until after your vehicle is stolen to find out you don't have the coverage you think you have. Owners are advised to review their auto insurance policies once a year, including coverage you must have, coverage you'll probably need, and additional types of coverage, including roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.
Exercise caution if you see someone tampering with your car. Call 911 as quickly as possible.