There seems to be quite a few stories in the Edmonton area regarding vehicle theft and items being removed from cars. According to the Edmonton Police Service, many vehicle thefts are done on a whim, and taking the appropriate steps can reduce the risk of your Honda being stolen.
Here are a few tips from the Edmonton Police Service:
Do not leave your vehicle running – Under no circumstances should you leave your vehicle unattended while running with the key in the ignition. NOTE: Automatic car starters are not a problem; they are designed to shut off if attempts are made to steal the vehicle.
No Spare Keys – Do not leave a spare key hidden in the vehicle. Thieves look for spare keys, and once they break into your vehicle they know all the hiding spots. You can get a spare key holder for your wallet or purse.
Lock Up Your Vehicle – Always check that the doors, windows, and sun roofs are shut and locked when you park your vehicle. As well, leave your vehicle in a locked garage where possible. If the crime rate is high in your area also lock your vehicle even when it is in the locked garage.
Be aware of where you park – When parking your vehicle at work, visiting, going to appointments etc., park in parking lots that will have more than one of the following:
- Security cameras;
- Security patrolling the parking lot;
- Someone working at an entrance/exit booth;
- A gated parking lot that needs a pass to get in and out;
- Well lit at night and during the day;
- A busy parking lot with lots of people coming and going or an area where there is lots of vehicle or pedestrians passing by.
Use a Steering Wheel Locking Device (e.g. The Club) – A well-secured car will deter thieves. There are other devices available to consumers to stop thieves from easily stealing your vehicle. See your local automotive stores for details.
Do not leave items in your vehicle – Thieves can be attracted to your car because numerous items are left in plain site. Never leave anything in your vehicle. That means loose change, cell phones, CDs, cameras, clothing, sunglasses, cigarettes, cigarette lighters, and any other items.
Install an Alarm – Alarms can deter thieves not only from stealing your vehicle, but also from stealing items from your vehicle. Caution is needed that you do not set your alarm to sensitive. Storms, wind, or large trucks passing by your vehicle can set it off. Too many false alarms and people will ignore it or get upset that it is always going off.
Here are a few more tips from our team at Wheaton Honda:
- Keep a copy of your registration and insurance in a safe and secure place. In the event that your car is stolen, it will be easiest to file a report with the police with as much information about your car as possible.
- Etch your Vehicle Information Number into one of the windows of your vehicle. Your VIN is unique to your vehicle alone, across all makes and models. Many vehicles have the VIN number filed off after being stolen, but you can have the VIN number etched into another window (back windshield) out of sight so that the car can still be identified, without anyone thinking to have looked in another place. This is a common practice in eastern Canada. Dealerships also have the ability to “etch” a shorter number on all windows of the vehicle that can be identified through a centralized system.
- Install an after-market GPS tracking system. We do quite a bit of work with Certified Radio, and they offer a range of security systems, but an interesting tool that they have to offer is a GPS tracking system that can be installed into your vehicle and provide real-time notification of the location of your vehicle.
If your vehicle is stolen, the best course of action is to ensure that you report the theft to your local law enforcement as quickly as possible so that there is the greatest amount of opportunity for the vehicle to be recovered with as little damage as possible, and of course, as little cost to you.