There has been a recent increase in automobile theft in my area. I had a conversation about it with the Chief of Police of a local town, and here is what I learned.
Car theft typically occurs in the early morning hours between 3AM and 5AM – this has always been the case, but there’s one specific new automobile feature that makes certain cars easier to target.
Many late model cars, particularly high-end models, have a feature that folds in the exterior mirrors when the car is locked. This is helpful in preventing damage especially when parking on busy streets – but if you’re not careful, it can also make your car an easy target for thieves.
Car thieves know which models feature automatic mirrors, so they drive around looking for these vehicles and when they see one with the mirrors “out,” they know it is unlocked. They then try the door and if it opens, they try the “start” button. If the key fob is not in the car they may search for valuables before simply moving on. However, if the key is in the car, the vehicle will start and they can simply drive away.
Many car owners leave their doors unlocked with the fob in the car accidentally, while some drivers do it intentionally because they live in a “safe” area. However, it does not matter whether your car is in your driveway or on the street – if you leave it unlocked with the key fob inside, you may be targeted.
Stolen cars are then parked on a street in another town, typically in a city, for a “cool down” period. If the car is not recovered within a few days, the thieves know that it has not been tracked and they likely won’t be found. The cars are then loaded onto container ships and sent to other countries where nobody will be looking for them.
Don’t let your car be the victim of auto theft. Always lock your vehicle, and be sure to take the key fob with you.
Robert A. Davis, President