Vehicle theft and break-ins are an increasing problem in the U.S., with one vehicle being stolen every 21 seconds. Combined with vehicles that are broken into but not stolen, that adds up to about 1.85 million incidents each year with more than $1.2 billion worth of valuables being stolen from cars annually.

Those are startling numbers, but there is one more statistic which is perhaps the most important of all. An experienced burglar only needs about 30 seconds to remove valuables from your vehicle, even when locked. Almost all vehicle break-ins are based on opportunity, which you can help eliminate by following a few simple tips.

Keep Your Vehicle Visible

Always park in a well-lit, high-profile area near people and other vehicles if possible. Although it may seem rather obvious, be sure to always keep your doors locked and windows rolled up. Statistics suggest that approximately 25% of vehicle break-ins occur to vehicles that are already unlocked.

Hide Your Valuables

Thieves are most likely looking in car windows to see which ones are worth breaking into. If you don’t have anything of value stored or visible, they will likely move on to the next vehicle. Although it may be an inconvenience, you should take your valuables inside with you when you park your car.

Thieves often look in the glove box, so the trunk might be a better option if you choose not to take your belongings with you. Keeping them in a locked trunk might be okay, but some thieves will actually stake out parking lots, so don’t place anything in your trunk in public, but do so in your garage or driveway.

Some valuables that should not be left visible in your vehicle include:

Purses

Phones

iPods

Computer Bags

You should also not leave any accessories such as power cords, adapters or navigation device suction-cup mounts as these are giveaways that you may have the electronics associated with them somewhere in your car. Also be sure not to keep mail visible as thieves can see your address and break into your car at your home or possibly steal your identity. Finally, be sure not to keep a spare key in your vehicle because thieves know where to look and you are making it way too easy for them to drive off in your vehicle.

Protect Your Vehicle in Murrieta

Having your vehicle outfitted with a security system such as a car alarm is another good way to foil would-be thieves. You can also use an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock, security alarm stickers and flashing LEDs. Be sure to report a vehicle break-in to the police immediately, as well as your insurance company.

Locksmith in Murrieta offers many ways to protect your vehicles, and their state-of-the-art vehicle tracking service will keep you abreast of any unauthorized stops and can report the exact location of your vehicle to the authorities in the case that it is stolen or hijacked.