Lately, cases of vehicle theft have spiked in New York City and the entire state of New York. In fact, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently cautioned car owners and drivers on the same.
You must be wondering about the statistics.
According to the New York City DMV, grand auto larceny complaints have shot up by 25% in just a year. Additionally, the department highlights that motorcycle theft cases have soared by 63% in the same period.
The DMV goes on to warn that drivers could be vulnerable to auto theft crimes and offers a few handy tips to fend off these crimes.
Read on to learn how to secure your precious vehicle from theft in New York City and the state at large.
I know what you’re thinking: How do auto thieves work?
Types of Auto Thieves
Vehicle thieves employ various tactics to break into and take off with motor vehicles in New York City and its environs. Understanding their strategies makes you more aware of the looming danger and offers you a better opportunity to foil their mission.
These are the most common types of vehicle thieves in New York City:
- Professional Auto Thieves
Professional car thieves are responsible for the majority of vehicle thefts in New York City and state at large. They employ a bevy of fine-tuned tactics to steal vehicles and are known to mostly target high-performance and less exotic car models.
Here’s the interesting part: professional auto thieves go for popular vehicle models with interchangeable auto parts. These burglars usually sell the stolen vehicles to ‘chop shops’ where they are dismantled and their auto parts sold off.
Moreover, professional car thieves target vehicles with a high demand in the export market. In this case, the thieves steal specific vehicle models to settle orders from their clients or brokers.
- Bump-and-Rob Car Thieves
These are carjackers who bump your vehicle from the rear and then take off with it when you alight to inspect the damage inflicted.
You guessed it right: The best way to fend off these criminals is to keep your car locked and then drive to a populated area to inspect the damage.
Alternatively, you can reach out to the police via your cellular phone for assistance.
Joy-riders often have a taste for luxury and high-performance vehicles.
Here’s the interesting part:
They usually steal the vehicles for their own use, so the cars are recovered in most cases. Nevertheless, the stolen vehicles are often damaged in one way or another.
Car jackers usually employ violent tactics to steal motor vehicles. They may hold you at gunpoint or close off the road to get at your vehicle.
How to Prevent Vehicle Theft in New York City
Losing a motor vehicle through theft is a devastating experience. It not only sets you back financially but also leaves you distressed. Nevertheless, you can take a few precautions to guard your vehicle from theft.
- Always Keep your Vehicle Locked and Secure the Car Keys
Keeping your vehicle locked is one of the easiest and effective ways to protect your precious investment from theft. When driving, lock all the doors to keep out potential professional car thieves, bump-and-jack burglars, and carjackers.
Now, this is important:
Whenever you park your vehicle, even for a quick stopover, lock all the doors, close the sunroof and windows, and secure your car keys. Never leave the keys in the ignition fob as this makes it extremely easy for thieves to drive off with your car.
- Install a Car Anti-Theft Device
Most car models today sell with built-in anti-theft mechanisms. However, a few models don’t. If yours doesn’t, installing anti-theft technology is one of the most effective ways to deter potential car thieves.
Types of Vehicle Anti-Theft Systems
The most popular car anti-theft mechanisms include:
- Ignition cut-off systems which prevent unauthorized persons from starting the car engine
- Steering wheel lock systems that are visible even from outside
- Automatic car alarms that activate when you remove the key fob from the ignition
- Computerized car tracking systems that activate and alert the car owner whenever the car engine starts or stops
If possible, install multiple vehicle anti-theft systems to make your car even less appealing to would-be thieves.
- Never Leave your Vehicle Registration or Title in the Car
Your vehicle title or registration papers prove that you are the genuine owner.
But there’s a catch: An auto thief can get pulled over by the authorities and get away as the legitimate owner if they produce these documents.
So, what’s my point? It’s critical to keep these documents safe.
Keep the vehicle title or registration away from the vehicle whenever you leave it. In case multiple people are authorized to use the vehicle, ensure you stow these documents safely in a secret location where only the trusted people can access them.
- Don’t Keep Valuables in your Vehicle
High-value items such as cash, jewelry, purses, wallets, car stereo, laptops, smartphones, and other high-tech electronics gadgets can attract burglars to your vehicle.
The trick is to make your vehicle less appealing to thieves by keeping all valuables away from the vehicle or secure them where passers-by can’t see them.
Likewise, installing tint car windows can also limit visibility into your vehicle and fend off potential car thieves.
- Be Extra Vigilant at Night
Car thieves love working at night. The darkness not only offers cover from suspicion but also enables car burglars to operate without being seen. What’s more, you are more likely to be alone in or away from your vehicle at night, making it easier for thieves to subdue your car.
The solution to this is simple: Always park your car in well-lit and busy locations where potential car thieves will have a hard time getting away with your car.
- Understand your Surroundings and Stay Alert
Some parts of New York City and other big cities are known hotspots for car theft and auto larceny crimes.
The best way to protect your car from theft here is to keep off these areas. In fact, it’s better to take an alternative route than driving through an auto theft high-risk locale even if it means covering more mileage and taking longer.
In like manner, staying alert can also help you to avoid cases of car theft. Keep your eyes open for suspicious people or activity around your vehicle particularly in parking lots, garages, and gas stations.
Moreover, trust your instincts and avoid driving through or parking where your gut feeling doesn’t feel right.
- Park you Vehicle Securely
Some car thieves are known to tow away vehicles from parking lots and inclines. Don’t fall victim to this.
Here’s a simple yet effective trick:
Park your vehicle with the wheels turned toward the curb and then engage the parking brake. If you park on an incline, leave the vehicle in gear, turn the wheel toward an obstacle, and set the parking brake. This way, you’ll find your vehicle right where you left it.
Bonus Tips to Secure your Vehicle against Theft
- Never leave your vehicle’s engine running and unattended
- Etch your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) on all removable parts such as windows, rear-view mirrors, doors, and engine parts. Car thieves are deterred by measures that make it easy to identify a stolen vehicle.
- In case you get cornered by carjackers, stay calm and don’t resist. Your vehicle may be expensive, but it’s replaceable. On the other hand, your life is priceless and irreplaceable.
Few feelings can compare to the disappointment and dread of finding your vehicle stolen. Luckily, now you know a few ways to make your precious car less attractive to auto thieves in New York City.
It all boils down to this: Making your car as hard as possible for auto thieves to gain access and take off with it. In fact, you can install a few of the protective mechanisms outlined in this post for better protection against vehicle theft.
However, if you fall victim to a car theft crime, the DMV offers you a few helpful options.
Here’s the best part:
The DMV has a resource to help prospective vehicle buyers to check and ascertain that their target motor vehicle hasn’t been stolen.
At Pierre Paul, we not only help you with safety driving tips, but we also teach you defensive driving techniques so you can pass the road test and get your driver’s license. Enroll for our affordable driving lessons today to learn from the best