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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

How to Protect Your Car from Theft

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Photo: No, this is not my ride.

How to Secure Your Car

Every day you rely on your car to get to work, take your kids to school and sometimes it is your fortress of solitude where you can share your love of Journey at the top of your lungs. Your vehicle is an essential part of your life.

But while your car, van or truck is your primary mode of transportation, it is often overlooked when it comes to security.

When it comes to protecting your vehicle, where you put it matters. We may not always get to park under a light at the grocery store or near the building at your office, but we need to be mindful of what kind of target we make our cars. Always lock the doors and make a show of it.

The Basics

When I get out of my vehicle, I pull on the handle to make sure it’s locked. Likewise you can click your key fob and lock the doors to trigger the flashers or the horn. That signals to anyone watching, that my car is going to require breaking in to get inside. I’m not going to make this easy for you.

The first line of defense for your vehicle is to keep it from being targeted for a crime in the first place.

Speaking of where you park your car, just because your car is parked in your driveway does not mean that it is safe. It is not uncommon to see thieves hit multiple cars in a neighborhood in a single night.

Night Time is the Right Time

Sometimes these thieves are skilled professionals and sometimes they are a group of neighborhood kids out looking for Grand Theft Auto style fun. Regardless, night is the time when your car is most likely to be stolen or broken into at your home.

Keep your valuables, including your garage door opener out of sight. Lock your doors and keep your windows up. If you can add a motion sensor light to your driveway, I highly recommend it.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Next, let’s be aware of what is visible to anyone standing outside your car. If you have an iPad with you, don’t leave it sitting out in the passenger seat. That’s a high dollar target because of the device and the potential information it has on it.

A quick crack of the glass and someone has your tablet and they’re off to pawn it. The best thing you can do is tuck it under a seat or put it inside something so it’s not visible to tempt a thief.

Key Hiders

I’m not a fan of key hiders at all, for your car or your home. Runners use key hiders on their cars all the time. I’ve seen runners get out of their cars, place the key in the hider and stick it under the wheel well and jog off. Everyone knows this trick. But this went to an all time low with someone in my neighborhood.

There was a truck parked on the street in my neighborhood that had the key hider magnet stuck right behind the driver’s door. No attempt to hide it. It was there for all the world to see. Anyone within 10 feet could have grabbed the key, gotten inside and driven off in under a minute.

Terrible Car Key Hider | The Secure Dad

Car Stickers

I want to make a brief mention of car stickers while discussing car security. People can use car stickers to profile you. The stick figure families are the worst for that. We don’t need to give away valuable information that may lead to us being targeted for a crime. For more on this check out episode 60 of this podcast.

The easiest thing you can do to keep your car safe is practice common sense. Don’t leave your keys or smart key fob in your car. Make sure you stash your valuables under seats, in consoles and in your trunk. Always lock your car and roll the windows up. Make your car a hard target.


Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

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