In 2018, Townsville was named the third worst region in Queensland for car theft, and has continued to live up to its reputation as a crime hot spot with several high-profile robberies in recent weeks.
There is, however, plenty of sound and simple advice we can apply and follow in an attempt to prevent thieves, whether strategic or opportunist, from targeting our vehicles. We’ve listed the top six below.
- Always double check. How many times have we walked back to our car after having been at a party, a movie or grocery shopping and found it unlocked as if by magic! Surely I locked it… Right? It’s so easy to either forget to lock a door or close a window or, alternatively, think you have when you haven’t, that this registers at the very top of our list. It might be common sense but it’s the cornerstone of car security – take a moment before you leave your vehicle to double check no one can get in!
- Be smart when you park. Obviously a secure garage is preferable, however if one isn’t available, try and ensure your parking location is well populated (i.e. close to other people and other cars), well lit and, ideally, in the view of a CCTV camera. Do yourself a favour and scope out your surroundings.
- Hide the goodies. This is one we all know we should be doing but its inconvenience means we don’t always follow through. Get rid of the laptop, phone, sat-nav, stereo, loose change or handbag that are lying around and, of course, any cables that might tip off bad guys that you’re hiding something more valuable elsewhere. Beware that thieves will sometimes watch to see if a driver will store valuables in the boot before they leave their vehicle unattended, so, if possible, either take them with you or leave them at home.
- Add some technology. A steering wheel, pedal or gearstick lock have historically proven useful deterrents against automobile crooks, however it’s never been cheaper or easier to install some basic high-tech devices such as car alarms, tracking gadgets or immobilisers to help bring your vehicle into the twenty-first century. Not only will this equipment make your car less appealing to a criminal or, at least, easier to locate in the case of it being stolen, but often times will also reduce your car insurance premium.
- Curb your enthusiasm. The simple maneuverer of turning your car’s wheels toward the curb or, alternatively, toward another vehicle or wall is shown to dramatically reduce a would-be thief from taking action because of the increased time or effort involved. After all, it’s hard to make a quick getaway in reverse!
- Shut it down. Just ducking into the local corner store for some milk or bread? Don’t risk it! Time and time again thieves take advantage of the momentarily-abandoned-but-still-running-car scenario. Whenever you’re not behind the wheel make sure you turn it off and take the key with you. A loaf of Wonder White just isn’t worth it!
These simple tips can help prevent your own vehicle from becoming targeted by car thieves and hopefully, begin to work towards reducing the car crime statistics that have been plaguing our city.
This article is in association with Reef Recycling – it pays to recycle. Visit them online here.