As so many are already aware, there has recently been an uptick in stolen vehicles in our area. Out of concern for our neighbors and members of the community, Circle BMW is sharing tips to make your vehicle less of a target to car thieves. You might have noticed some signage along main roads alerting residents to remember to lock their cars at night.
The quicker a car thief can steal your vehicle, the more attractive it is. Anything you can do to slow down professional car thieves or joyriders will make your vehicle a less appealing target.
1. Be smart about where you park
Avoid parking in areas that are poorly lit or places that are not immediately seen by passers-by. If you can’t store your car in a secure private garage, parking it in a well-lit area near other vehicles and in a well-trafficked area is the best way to discourage theft. Thieves may be deterred if they know they can easily be seen.
2. Lock your doors, close your windows, take your keys
Although it goes without saying we’re saying it: Lock. Your. Doors!
Especially with newer car models, thieves specifically look to see if mirrors are tuned in – an indication that the car is locked and secure.
In addition, be sure your car’s windows are fully closed, including the sunroof or, on pickups, the rear cab window.
Apps such as the myBMW app are helpful as they have the capability to not only lock your car remotely but give you the “all clear” that your vehicle is secure with locked windows and doors.
It may seem obvious but be sure to double-check that the key is in your pocket or bag when you walk away from the vehicle. With today’s push-button start systems, it is remarkably easy to forget you tossed the key in the center console or to realize it fell out of your bag and onto the seat.
Don’t make any exceptions—some people steal cars just because it’s easy.
3. Do not leave anything valuable in your car
One way to attract a thief is to leave a purse, cell phone or other high-value item in a highly visible area of your car. If you must have something important with you, keep it out of sight or in the trunk.
Be especially careful around the holidays when carrying gifts to your car.
4. Do not leave a spare key near your vehicle
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends taking your keys with you when you leave your car. Some people keep a spare key under the car or in the glove box, just in case they get locked out — but thieves know where to check for an extra key.
Keep your spare key in a safe place in your home or garage.
5. Do not leave your car running and unattended
The easiest crimes are those of opportunity. A running, unoccupied car parked in a driveway on a cold morning before school starts or in front of a convenience store on a hot day practically invites a thief to take it.
BMWs and most new vehicles have remote start capabilities via your key fob or mobile app that will warm up or cool down your vehicle while keeping it locked.
6. Be alert
Be aware of your surroundings when you park your car. If you are wary of the safety of your car or see someone loitering around the parking lot, it’s best to park somewhere else.
7. If confronted by a carjacker, do not resist. Cars can be replaced …you can’t.
What to Do If Your Car is Stolen?
First, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Contact the police immediately to file a report. Next, locate all the vehicle’s pertinent information, including its VIN, license plate number, and details such as the make, model, color, and notable features such as dents or modifications. The more information you can provide to the police, the better. Providing photos will help, too.
After you’ve filed a police report, contact your car insurance provider to tell them that your vehicle was stolen.
If you are looking for a used vehicle for your new driver, Circle BMW has over 140 pre-owned vehicles consisting of popular makes and models, all passing our rigorous safety and reliability standards. Most are being sold at or below wholesale prices!
500 Rt. 36 East
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Sponsored by: Circle BMW