How to Eliminate Crimes of Opportunity for Car Thieves

By Teresa Aquila

For the last five years, the Honda Civic is not only the most popular car selling at dealerships, but also the number one most-stolen car in America.

But Honda is not alone. The top five cars stolen besides the Honda Civic are, in second place, Honda Accord, third place Ford full-size pickup, fourth is the Chevrolet full-size pickup and rounding off fifth, is the Toyota Camry.

With all of today’s new technology, one would think that it is nearly impossible to drive off with someone’s new vehicle? According to LoJack here is their list of the top five most stolen cars that have its security system:

1. Honda Accord

2. Honda Civic

3. Toyota Camry

4. Toyota Corolla

5. Chevy Silverado

While we cannot completely account for criminal behavior, it is important to note that the Accord has been one of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. for over 30 years, and in 2013 it was the best-selling new car to individual American buyers. Quality, reliability and durability are hallmarks of the Honda brand, and more Honda vehicles sold in the last 25 years are still on the road than any other brand, making it attractive to thieves. How can you make it harder for that professional thief to consider stealing your car? Nothing ruins your day faster than finding your car missing from its parking spot.

Obviously, thieves know which cars are easiest to sell, which is certainly a backhanded compliment to the Honda Motor Company. You can take several steps to prevent your Honda or any other vehicle from being stolen, including:

Lock your vehicle: Keep your car locked at all times, including while you’re driving it.

Parking: Never leave keys in a parked vehicle. Don’t leave the vehicle with open windows or sunroof. Never leave your car running when it is unattended. Hide your vehicle title where a thief won’t find it. Don’t park your car in a high crime area or in a dark spot.

Valuables: Don’t tempt thieves by leaving valuable items in the car, such as laptops, cameras or cell phones.

Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System: An immobilizer theft-deterrent system is standard on the Honda Accord and Civic models. The system uses an ignition key with a built-in transponder. The car key carries a transponder code which must match a code in the vehicle computer. If they don’t match, the engine won’t start.

Glass: Have your VIN etched onto each of the vehicle’s windows. It discourages thieves, who don’t want to pay to replace all the windows.

Transceiver: Have a radio frequency transceiver installed on your vehicle that allows police to trace the location of a stolen car.

Steering wheel lock: While these aren’t foolproof, they discourage thieves who will likely move onto another car without a steering wheel lock.

With winter approaching in many states, car owners dislike jumping into a cold vehicle with frosted windows and no heat. This is a crime of opportunity by leaving your car running in the driveway or in the garage thinking that you are close enough to deter a would-be car thief. Think again. By the time you hear or notice that someone is behind the wheel of your car, it is too late. If parking outdoors is your only option, then consider purchasing a remote starting system.

Even if a thief did break into your car, it would be impossible to drive it away without the key. A remote starter will only allow a car to run without a key for a predetermined amount of time, usually 10 to 20 minutes. If the key is not inserted in the ignition before that time is up, the car will shut down. Meanwhile, the car is warmed up and ready for you to travel in comfort, and you won’t get a ticket for an obstructed view from not de-icing your windows, or get into an accident because you were unable to see your surroundings. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Happy Motoring

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