All posts in Auto Security

Urban Street Safety: Preventing Auto Carjackings and Theft

auto theft

Navigating the bustling thoroughfares of urban landscapes is an exercise in vigilance. Unfortunately, one of the gravest concerns for modern commuters is the risk of auto carjackings and theft.

Each year, thousands of vehicles are stolen or broken into in our cities, leaving behind not only physical losses but also a sense of violation and vulnerability.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore proactive tactics every urban driver should have in their toolkit to minimize these risks and ensure a safer travel experience.

Understanding the Risks

Urban Auto Theft Statistics

Why is this topic so pressing? The figures tell a stark story. Cities consistently report higher rates of vehicle theft and carjackings compared to rural areas, with significant spikes in certain parts of the world. These statistics aren’t mere numbers – they represent personal disruptions, financial losses, and potential dangers to the victims.

Common Theft Tactics

To combat a threat, you must first understand it. Auto theft and carjacking perpetrators often employ a variety of tactics ranging from subtle to aggressive.

Common theft tactics that individuals should be vigilant about include:

  • Opportunistic Theft: Thieves may target vehicles that are left running or with keys in the ignition, often at gas stations, convenience stores, or even in their own driveways.
  • Smash-and-Grab: A method where thieves quickly break a window to steal visible items before fleeing the scene.
  • Signal Jamming: Using devices to block or intercept the signal from remote key fobs, preventing the car from locking even when the owner presses the lock button.
  • Relay Attacks: A more high-tech method where thieves use electronic equipment to extend the signal from a keyless entry car key to open and start a car remotely.
  • Carjacking: This direct approach involves threatening the vehicle owner with violence to seize their car, often occurring in parking lots or at traffic lights.
  • VIN Cloning: Criminals may replace the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a stolen car with a VIN from a legal vehicle to mask the car’s true identity.
  • Fictitious Online Sales: Posing as sellers, thieves may lure prospective buyers with the intent of robbing them or even using the opportunity to steal another vehicle.

Preventive Measures

The Power of Situational Awareness

Of all the tools at your disposal, situational awareness is perhaps the most critical. Being alert to your surroundings can prevent a variety of crimes, including theft and carjacking.

Situational awareness involves being conscious of your environment and understanding the potential threats that may be present. It means not only noticing suspicious behaviors or conditions but also anticipating possible scenarios where a crime could occur.

For example, when walking to your car in a parking lot, it’s important to scan the area for any unusual activity and to have your keys in hand before you reach your vehicle. Trusting your instincts and acting on any feelings of unease can often deter would-be criminals.

By being vigilant and not allowing distractions such as smartphones to take your attention, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability to theft and other threats.

Secure Your Vehicle Using Anti-Theft Technology

Securing your vehicle goes beyond locking the doors. It encompasses strategic thinking, forming smart habits, and sometimes, considering investments in additional security layers like alarms, GPS trackers, or steering wheel locks, to ensure comprehensive protection against theft or unauthorized access.

Technology has revolutionized vehicle security, offering a diverse array of tools to combat auto theft effectively. From traditional steering wheel locks to advanced GPS tracking systems with real-time monitoring capabilities, there is a wide selection of devices available. These technologies act as vigilant guards for your vehicle, providing peace of mind and enhanced protection against potential theft incidents.

Popular Anti-Theft Devices for Your Vehicle

  1. Steering Wheel Locks: These physical barriers attach to the steering wheel, making it difficult to steer the car without removing the lock.
  2. Brake Locks: Similar to steering wheel locks, these devices lock the brake pedal, preventing the car from being driven.
  3. Car Alarms: Loud alarms deter thieves by attracting attention to the vehicle when a break-in is attempted.
  4. Engine Immobilizers: Electronic security devices that prevent the engine from running unless the correct key is present.
  5. GPS Trackers: Allow vehicle owners to monitor the location of their car in real-time, which is particularly useful after a theft.
  6. Dash Cams: While primarily used for recording road incidents, dash cams can also capture footage of thieves.
  7. Window VIN Etching: Etching the VIN number onto the car windows makes it more challenging for thieves to resell the car or its parts.
  8. Tire Locks: Also known as boot locks, these immobilize the vehicle by locking onto the wheels.
  9. Keyless Entry Fobs with Rolling Codes: Makes it harder for thieves to intercept and replicate the car’s key signal.
  10. Electronic Tracking Systems: Professional tracking services that can locate a vehicle and assist law enforcement in recovery efforts.

Safety While Traveling

Planning Routes Wisely

You might think that picking the shortest route is the ultimate goal, but when safety becomes a top priority, opting for a more circuitous path through well-policed or high-traffic areas could prove to be the wiser and more prudent choice in the long run.

Considerations for Route Planning:
  • Check Traffic Reports: Prior to departure, review traffic updates and road conditions to avoid high-risk areas and congested roads.
  • Use Reliable GPS Services: Utilize trustworthy navigation apps or systems that offer real-time traffic data and route options to ensure you stay on safer roads.
  • Familiarize Yourself with the Area: If possible, learn about the area you will travel through, including which neighborhoods are considered safe.
  • Plan for Stops: Identify and plan your rest stops in advance, opting for well-lit areas with amenities and security.
  • Inform Someone of Your Route: Let a friend or family member know your intended route and expected arrival time.
  • Avoid High-Crime Areas: Research and bypass regions with high crime rates, even if it means a longer trip.
  • Stay Flexible: Be prepared to alter your route as needed; flexibility can be crucial in response to unexpected occurrences or changing conditions.

Parking Practices

Where and how you park your vehicle is a decision fraught with safety implications. We’ll provide a checklist for parking safely, with guidance on finding the best spots and the security measures to implement upon departure.

Parking Safety Checklist:
  • Visibility: Choose a parking spot that is highly visible, preferably in an area with good lighting and foot traffic.
  • Surveillance: Park in areas that are under surveillance, such as those with security cameras.
  • Accessibility: Avoid secluded spots. Instead, select locations where help can be easily accessed if needed.
  • Legal Parking: Ensure that you are parking in a designated area to avoid fines and the risk of your vehicle being towed.
  • Locking Up: Double-check that all doors are locked and windows are closed before leaving your vehicle.
  • Valuables Concealed: Keep any valuables out of sight or take them with you to prevent break-ins.
  • Parking Etiquette: Park your vehicle within the lines to avoid damage from other vehicles opening their doors.
  • Use of Security Features: Activate any additional security measures such as alarms, steering wheel locks, or dash cams.
  • Memorize Your Spot: Take note or a picture of your parking spot to locate your vehicle quickly upon return.
  • Awareness on Return: Be vigilant when returning to your vehicle, especially at night or in less crowded areas.

Vigilance at Intersections

Stoplights and intersections are prime hunting grounds for thieves and carjackers. We’ll outline the risks associated with these scenarios and detail ways to reduce your vulnerability without turning your car into a fortress.

Intersection Vigilance Tactics
  • Lock Doors: Always ensure your car doors are locked when approaching an intersection to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Windows Up: Keep the windows up, or only slightly lowered, to make it more difficult for someone to reach inside the vehicle.
  • Stay Alert: Remain attentive to your surroundings rather than distractions such as your phone, radio, or conversations.
  • Mirrors Adjusted: Have your rearview and side mirrors properly adjusted for a full grasp of the area around your car.
  • Limit Space in Front: Don’t pull up directly behind the vehicle in front of you; leave enough space for maneuvering in case of an emergency.
  • Scan the Area: Regularly scan the area for any suspicious activity or individuals that may be approaching cars.
  • No Valuables Display: Keep valuables out of sight, so they are not a temptation for a smash-and-grab scenario.
  • Anti-Theft System: If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-theft system, ensure it’s activated when stationary.
  • Avoid Distractions: Stay focused on driving and the light changes; thieves can take advantage of distracted drivers.
  • Plan Your Route: Be familiar with your route and avoid high crime areas, especially during times of low traffic.

Community Awareness and Reporting

The Strength of Community

You’re not in this alone. Community initiatives and neighborhood watch programs can play an instrumental role in preventing auto theft. Learn how to get involved and benefit from the collective effort to enhance urban security.

Reporting Suspicious Activities

Knowledge is power, especially when reported to law enforcement. We’ll guide you through the process of recognizing and reporting activities that could lead to auto carjackings or theft, potentially saving your vehicle or someone else’s from falling victim.

Sharing the Knowledge

Knowledge shared is protection multiplied. We’ll encourage you to spread the word about urban street safety, turning your own wealth of information into a broader community effort to safeguard against carjacking and theft.

Conclusion: Forging a Safer Path

Armed with the strategies detailed in this guide, you’re ready to take control of your urban travel safety. Stay alert, secure your vehicle, employ technology, plan smartly, and engage with your community.

By taking these proactive and informed steps, you’re actively decreasing the likelihood of falling prey to auto theft and carjacking, ensuring that your journeys are not only efficient but, above all, safe.

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How To Protect Your Car From Auto Theft – Prevention Tips & Features Explained

auto theft

Auto theft is an ever-present crime that has been plaguing society since the invention of cars. With the introduction of modern technology, automakers are doing their part to reduce auto theft by introducing preventive features into their vehicles.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of those features and how they can help keep your car safe from thieves. Let’s start with auto theft statistics.

Auto Theft Statistics

Auto theft is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world each year. Auto theft is a serious crime that can have a significant impact on victims.

In 2022, over 1 million vehicles were stolen in the United States, a 7% increase from the previous year. California and Texas had the most reported stolen vehicles, and Illinois had the largest increase, estimated at 35 percent.

Additional Resources

  • National Insurance Crime Bureau:
  • Insurance Information Institute:
  • ValuePenguin:

There are a number of factors that contribute to auto theft, including:

  • Easy access to vehicles:
    Many vehicles are left unlocked or with the keys inside, making them easy targets for thieves.
  • Theft of parts and accessories:
    Thieves often steal parts and accessories from vehicles, such as wheels, tires, and radios.
  • Organized crime:
    Some auto theft is carried out by organized crime rings, who steal vehicles to sell for parts or to export.

While all types of vehicles can be stolen, certain cars are more likely to be targeted by thieves than others. Knowing which cars are most often stolen can help you take extra precautions to protect your vehicle and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of auto theft.

Which Cars Are Most Stolen?

It is estimated that over 700,000 vehicles are stolen each year. While any car can be stolen, some models are more likely to be targeted by thieves than others.

The most stolen cars in the United States are:

  • 2004 full-size Chevrolet pick-up
  • 2006 full-size Ford pick-up
  • 2000 Honda Civic
  • 1997 Honda Accord
  • 2019 Toyota Camry
  • 2020 Nissan Altima
  • 2005 GMC full-size pick-up
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla
  • 2000 Honda CR-V

There are a few reasons why these cars are more likely to be stolen than others. First, they are popular models, which means there are more of them on the road.

Second, they are relatively easy to steal, often because they lack modern anti-theft technology. Third, they are valuable, which makes them a target for thieves who want to sell them for scrap or parts.

In addition to the cars listed above, there are a few other models that are also commonly stolen. These include:

  • Toyota Corolla
  • Honda Accord
  • Nissan Altima
  • Ford F-150
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Dodge Ram
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Kia Optima

If you own one of these cars, it’s important to take steps to protect it from theft. These steps include:

  • Installing a security system
  • Keeping your car locked
  • Parking in a well-lit area
  • Not leaving valuables in your car

By taking these steps, you can help reduce the risk of your car being stolen.


Anti-Theft Technology

Many automakers have implemented anti-theft technology in order to deter potential criminals from stealing cars. These systems typically include immobilizers which prevent the engine from starting unless a unique code or key fob is used, as well as alarm systems that sound if someone attempts to break into your vehicle.

These are just a few of the technologies that are being used to prevent auto theft. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to keep our cars safe.

Here are some additional details about each of these technologies:

  • Passive Immobilizers:

    These devices are typically installed in the car’s ignition system and prevent the car from starting unless the correct key is present. The key contains a chip that sends a signal to the immobilizer, which allows the car to start. If the wrong key is used, the immobilizer will prevent the car from starting.

  • Remote Start:

    This feature allows the car to be started remotely using a key fob or smartphone app. This can be useful in cold weather or if the car is parked in a remote location.

    However, it is important to note that remote start can also make it easier for thieves to steal a car. If a thief is able to get the key fob or access the smartphone app, they can start the car and drive away without having to break into the car.

  • GPS Tracking:

    This feature allows the car to be tracked if it is stolen. The GPS tracker is typically installed in the car’s computer system and sends its location to a central server. This information can then be used by law enforcement to track down the stolen car.

  • LoJack:

    This is a tracking system that uses radio signals to track the car. The LoJack transmitter is typically hidden in the car and sends out a signal that can be picked up by law enforcement. This allows law enforcement to track down the stolen car even if the thief has disabled the car’s GPS system.

  • Smartphone Apps:

    Some cars come with smartphone apps that allow owners to lock and unlock the car, track its location, and set security alerts. These apps can be useful for keeping track of the car and deterring theft.

  • Biometric Authentication:

    This uses fingerprints, facial recognition, or voiceprints to identify the driver and prevent unauthorized access to the vehicle. This technology is becoming increasingly common in cars, as it is a more secure way to authenticate the driver than a traditional key.

  • Window Etching:

    This involves etching the car’s VIN number into the windows, making it more difficult for thieves to sell the car. The VIN number is a unique identifier for the car, and it is difficult to remove the etching. This makes it more difficult for thieves to sell the car, as they would need to replace the windows.

  • Security Cameras:

    These can be installed in the car or in the garage to deter theft and help identify thieves. Security cameras can record video of the car and its surroundings, which can be used to identify thieves and help law enforcement recover the stolen car.

Car Lockouts

Car lockouts occur when people accidentally leave their keys inside the car and cannot get back in without breaking a window or door handle – both costly repairs!

To avoid these situations, many new cars now come equipped with remote entry systems, where you can unlock your doors using just a simple button on your keychain.

Steering Wheel Locks

Steering wheel locks are a physical deterrent against car theft, making it nearly impossible for criminals to get away with your vehicle. Many automakers now offer steering wheel locks as an optional feature, and they can be bought relatively inexpensively from most auto parts stores.


Overall, there have been a number of advances in automotive security technology over the past few years that can help you protect your vehicle from thieves. By taking advantage of these features, you can rest assured knowing that your car will remain safe and secure no matter where you go.

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Car Storage an Ideal Solution for Vehicle Protection

A vehicle owner may need to rent a car storage facility for several reasons. The vehicle owner may have a garage that can only fit one vehicle but he owns more than one vehicle.  Or he could be going for a long-distance travel. At such times vehicle owners, may not want to leave their vehicle behind in their garage without any supervision for a long time. It also is possible that the vehicle owner is going during winter and, does not want to leave the vehicle behind in the garage during the long harsh winter without any heat.

At such times, when you leave your car in a storage facility not only is the car protected against burglars, but also protected against pests, insects, hazardous elements, nature’s furies such as the harsh sun which can dull the car paint or earth’s moisture which could rust your car. Such facilities also prevent mildew forming on the surface of your car. Car storage facilities usually have dehumidifiers to keep away the moisture.

When you use self storage units to store your vehicle, you should ensure that these units are climate controlled. Such storage units also need to have temperature and humidity control as well.  The reasons why these car storage units are ideal are that they are cost effective.  These facilities usually have surveillance cameras, fire alarms and intruder alarms so that you can store your car or other vehicles in the storage units without much worry. Many storage units even allow you to choose what components and materials you want to build the storage unit out of.

Important Tips to Remember

However, if you want to store your car in storage, there are a few things you need to do as well to ensure that your car is not damaged during the storage time. The car should be free of dust as there could be stains in the interior that could damage the paint. Therefore, you should wash the car beforehand to remove any debris. When you clean the interior of your car thoroughly, the chances of permanent stains decrease immensely. You should also fill the gas tank so that there is no moisture left in the tank. You should also change the engine oil as well. Lubricate the car door hinges to allow the hinges to open with ease, and to prevent rust formation.

People sometimes opt for shared car storages as it is a cheaper option. This is required when there is no proper location to store your car, and you don’t want to spend much money on storage units. Shared storage units also keep excessive temperatures, moisture and pests at bay. There are fully enclosed storage units so the damage caused is minimized especially in areas with fluctuating temperature or extreme temperatures. Some of these storage units offer maximum security such as pin entry system and 24/7 cameras and alarms in storage units. Using these storage options, you can store your treasured vehicles such as classic or expensive cars.

Car storage units are also good for flood prone areas and areas with harsh cold winters. Also, it is ideal if you are an international student, and you cannot afford the extra baggage as it is too expensive. When you use storage facilities, you free space in your house while still ensuring that your vehicle does not get damaged.  This is a wise option as not only your vehicle is protected, but also the parts of the vehicle as well. Later when you use your vehicle, you will still get the mileage and will be able to use gas optimally.

Image credit: Self Storage, on Flickr

Roads Towards Ample Auto Shop Storage

There is never enough storage space in an average car repair shop. Since mechanics have to be productive and efficient throughout their work day, they need to arrange and keep their tools and machines in apple-pie order. This is why many of them adapt storage containers and items of furniture from other shops to create ample storage space in their garages. We have analyzed some of their solutions and made a short overview of the most practical ones.

Cleaning-friendly flooring

Although not directly a member of the storage crew, the floor is the foundation of every garage. Due to the fact that garages have the highest spill rate when it comes to car oils and grease, the flooring has to be made of easily cleaned and affordable material. If you want to make your garage floor a firm and cleaning-friendly area, the only thing you should do is cover it with epoxy. However, we have to place a disclaimer here – since it can also get pretty slippery when covered with water, epoxy should be used only for the garage area on which the fluids in a car are checked and changed.

Repairs on wheels

Car repair shops are usually full of heavy and bulky machines and other massive devices. In order to be able to free the space you need at every single moment inside the garage, it would be wise to install wheels to each and every machine, chair and device that you use there. That way you will be able to move them whenever they are needed by other mechanics. Also, your workers will have better work conditions, since they will not have to lift that heavy stuff anymore.

Saving nuts and bolts

When talking about car repairs and places that provide such services, it is clear that they literally contain loads of nuts and bolts. Losing those tiny parts could result in losing a customer from whose car they have been removed, too. Such an outcome would not only be an unpleasant situation, but pretty bad marketing, as well. Out of all these reasons, every garage needs to have a sufficient number of proper containers for small tools and tiny parts. From old cardboard holders thrown out of some old library to adjustable pallet racks that can cover the overhead area, you can repurpose various containers to store your precious parts.

Walls as tool sheds

While smaller tools can be easily accommodated on racks, larger items need a different treatment. A skilful mechanic needs a drill, several storage hooks and a few metal boxes to turn their garage walls into tool havens. Tools such as pliers, screwdrivers and wrenches can be stored in metal boxes. On the other hand, wall hooks are a perfect solution for those massive tools, like mallets, large hammers and crowbars. If you want to get more inspiration to organize your garage tool in an efficient way, you should definitely check out these ideas.

The key of an efficient business is fine space organization. Getting enough storage units to accommodate all the spare parts, as well as large and small tools is a must for every mechanic who wants to be productive. Only a well-organized garage will give you enough room and time to run a successful car repairing business.

Image credit: Gardner/Fox Associates, Inc, on Flickr

Car Security System: What to Look Out For?

Owning a car brings many benefits to one’s life and changes the whole view of the world. Being aware that you can move whenever you want and do whatever you wish to do is freedom in its purest form. But karma can be pretty restrictive on such perfect situations, which is why there have to be thieves and vandals, to keep the balance. Luckily, car owners today have more options than ever before when it comes to security features. They only need to know what to look out for.

Sensor-enhanced security

Due to the development of fine mechanics and electronics, today car security is delivered by sensors. So, when you are choosing the security system for your car, make sure that it is equipped with proper motion sensors. They activate the alarm by detecting a move meant to invade your beloved four-wheeler. In addition to these features, glass sensors are also extremely practical to enhance your overall car security. They have a special "hearing" ability, which makes the alarm go off and warn the owner if a thief breaks one of the windows.

Smart systems for smart(phone) users

The smartphone is not only an inseparable feature of social and business life, but this gadget can also be pretty handy when it comes to car security, as well. Thanks to some cutting-edge remote systems, nowadays car owners can use their phones to control their alarm and other security features. For instance, you can use your smartphone for remote security control. Together with remote starting, this feature is one of the most useful things when it comes to modern car alarm systems. On a cold morning, you can start your car from the calm of your bedroom and let it warm before you get into it. It benefits both your comfort and your health.

Car remote supervision

In addition to the already discussed remote control features, every owner of a valuable car should add the GPS tracking to their security system. If you activate this GPS option, you will be able to follow and track your car in case it gets stolen. What is more, you can also embed this option into your security system and get alert if your vehicle is driven away from the area that the GPS-supervision remembered last. A great help to modern drivers, this solution is a multi-purpose device that every owner should buy. And if you want to know more about the character and functionality of GPS in general, here is a great overview.

Reliable providers

When you have decided what car security system you want for your car, you can try and install it all by yourself. However, these state-of-the-art systems are pretty demanding and sensitive. If you fail to place it properly, you might have a double expense. So, it is better to find reliable providers who will be able to ensure that the system is properly installed, advises an experienced Randwick locksmith. That way you will know that everything is assembled in a proper way and you will have no worries about the security of your car.

While you can also choose some of the mechanical immobilizers, such as the steering-wheel lock or the tire-lock, they should only come in handy as additional security options. Since modern cars are rich with electronic features, they require security systems that suit such manufacturing. You should never save on your alarms and car security systems, because only a reliable system is a guarantee that you will always find your car where you have parked it.