While auto theft has increase over the last couple of years, it still remains below the 1991 level when it peaked. That said, car thieves are always devising new ways to steal your vehicle. Don’t be the next victim of auto theft, do these things so your car doesn’t get stolen.

Take Keys with You – This might seem really obvious, but there were 229,339 vehicle thefts with keys or fobs left in the vehicles between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018. Thats 229,339 auto thefts that didn’t have to happen, and shouldn’t have happened.

Keep Owner’s Manual in the House – There’s been a rash of thefts of owner’s manuals lately. Thieves take the owner’s manual because they either have a valet key in them or they’ll use the PIN number and VIN number to get a duplicate key made from the dealer. Once they have that they come back and steal your car.

Park On The Street – Ditch the parking garage and park on the street. Thieves prefer to go after cars that are in parking garages that don’t usually have a high level of security. On the street there are people walking by, cameras, and just general activity that deters thieves.

Lock It Up – Again, this seems logical but many people don’t bother locking their vehicle. Even if you don’t have anything of value in the car, lock it so they can’t steal your manual.

Park Facing an Obstacle – Park so your vehicle is facing a wall, guardrail or median so that it can’t be towed if auto thieves manage to get it started.

Lock Steering Wheel – Use a tool to lock your steering wheel. When a car thief sees a steering wheel lock they usually walk on by because it isn’t worth the trouble.

Avoid Popular Models – The most stolen vehicle is the Honda Accord followed by the Honda Civic, Ford Pickup, Toyota Camry and Corolla. These are popular cars and their parts sell easily online.

Use a Sticker – Like putting a security system sign in your front yard, a sticker that suggests you have a security system deters thieves very effectively. You can create your own sticker or purchase one online.

Don’t Leave it Running – You may be tempted to start your car and let it run so it cools down, but that’s just inviting someone to steal it. Even if you lock it while it runs, it’s easy enough to break the window and steal your car. Don’t ever leave your car running while parked and unattended.

It’s basic common sense and vigilance that will lower your chances of being the next auto theft victim. Lock your car, take your keys, and remove the owners manual.