Simple rules to protect your car from thieves


You may think that your car is safe with a remote key and an alarm device, but it could be not so safe with skillful auto thieves. It is important not to rely entirely on these simple protection devices, and to keep in mind a few rules that help to keep your car safe in all situations.

1. Check again after locking with remote key

Modern cars are equipped with a remote key that allows the driver to lock their vehicle with remote control. Although this is very rare, sometimes the remote signal may be jammed or the sensor not working well temporarily, which means that your car is not locked after you press on the key. Therefore, it is a good habit to always look back at your car when remote locking to check again. Make sure you can see the lights flash and hear the locking sound, otherwise press the lock button again.

Many security experts believe that some thieves use remote key jammers – devices specifically designed to jam signals from remote car keys – to prevent your car from self-locking after you press the key. If they use this device on your car, sometimes it can make the lights flash but the car unlocked (which might happen when the remote sensor receives only part of the key’s signal). So if there is anything suspicious and you think your car may be a thief’s target, make the habit of pulling the door handle to double-check before leaving.

Using car remote key

It is a good habit to always look back at your car when remote locking to check again

2. Park your car where visible

When you are going to park your car somewhere for a while, make sure to find the safest places. Here are a few tips:

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If you are parking on a street at night, park under street lights or near a storefront with neon-lighted signs. That makes your car visible when the night falls and the thieves visible as well if they dare to approach.

In a parking lot, park as close to your apartment/office as possible, or near any densely populated building. The more visible the safer your car is. Also, try not to park your precious ride for long hours in low-traffic areas or low-income neighborhoods, which would make it an easy target for an auto theft.

If you are going to a shop, a restaurant, pub or theater, park your car close to the entrance or the windows so many people can see it. But that might be impossible in some crowded places, so if you are going to park away from the site, choose a spot near the main entrance and surrounded by other vehicles. Thieves will more likely attack a separated car or a car at the far end of the line, so that they can easily escape

3. Keep valuable things in the car away from sight

This sounds obvious, but you will be surprised that so many people leave their belongings in the car seats. Jewelry are among the first things any thief would notice through the car windows, as well as cash, purses, handbags, cell phones, watches and other accessories. Personal documents such as IDs, driver’s license, etc. are also possible targets to people with dark intentions. So never forget to put those valuable items away from sight, because their attractiveness can motivate someone with stealing intentions to actually make an attempt.

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Wallet, cellphones left in the car

Never leave valuable things in observable places in your car

4. Install and use car security features

New car models are often equipped with a full set of intelligent features (optional), which include advanced security devices you never used before or even never heard of. For example, did you know that many cars have a system that automatically stops and locks the car when carjackers attack and try to escape? A lot of modern cars also have headlights and interior lights that are automatically turned on when you press the remote key, and stay on after you shut down the engine for some time, usually 30 seconds after you leave the car. This system is designed to help you safely walk to the car or leave it without worry that some carjackers were hiding in the dark. These are only examples of security systems that could be already installed on your car but you never knew of, so read the manufacturer’s manual to see if your car has this system and how to activate it.

If your car does not have these advanced features, you need not to worry because traditional anti-theft devices are no less effective. Don’t hesitate to buy a car alarm (if your car does not have it already) to discourage thieves to make an attempt; and if you are regularly parking in low-security areas, install a steering wheel lock and/or a gas pedal lock to immobilise your vehicle when you leave.

5. Keep an eye on the number plates

Some criminals steal other cars’ plates to change the plates on their similar vehicle to commit criminal activities. If they use your plates to commit serious crimes, you will be questioned by the police. However, if they only violate the traffic law or do something like filling up gas and not paying when they use your plates, you might be charged with fines and tickets for the wrongs you did not do. Therefore, in the case your car’s registration plate(s) are stolen, notify the police immediately.

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A Lagos number plate

Some criminals steal other cars’ plates to change the plates on their similar vehicle to commit criminal activities

6. Always lock the car when you get out

Even if you are just getting out of the car for a few seconds, these limited seconds are all the time it takes for an auto theft. So always lock your car when you get out, or otherwise you must shut off the engine and pay close attention to your ride all the time before you get back in. Only one moment of your distraction can create an opportunity for a thief to sneak into your car and drive it away.

Additionally, you will not get paid by the insurance company if it is your own fault (your carelessness) that the car gets stolen. So again, remember to always lock your car when leaving.