Car thefts are a serious problem in Alberta. According to Statistics Canada, in 2015 there were 78,849 cars stolen with 22,230 in Alberta. That’s a rate of 532.12 per 100,000 population – every year. Anything you can do to slow down professional car thieves or joy-riders, will make your vehicle a less appealing target.
Professional car thieves are becoming increasingly organized and, criminals will choose an easy target. Joy-riding or taking a car without permission is also a crime in Canada, often committed by adolescents including the owners children, who take the car and either return it empty or abandon it somewhere.
At MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd., we insure a wide array of vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, antiques and collectibles through a number of different automobile insurers to ensure you receive the most comprehensive coverage and competitive pricing available. As trusted automobile insurance brokers in Edmonton since 1969, here’s some advice to help you from being a victim of vehicle theft from INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization.
For the vehicle itself, these precautions should be taken even if your car is in your garage:
- Never leave your vehicle running unattended. Keep your vehicle locked at all times, even while driving.
- Close all windows and lock all car doors and the trunk, even if it’s only for a moment.
- Where possible, park in a well-lit highly visible area, preferably off the road. At night, choose secure or well-lit car parks, with pedestrian traffic. Avoid leaving your vehicle in a car park for a long time.
- Try to park the vehicle with the front facing an obstacle. Turn the wheels towards the kerb and lock the steering.
- Always try to use all protection you have on the vehicle. Put all labels for protection devices in a visible place (do not display your GPS label).
- Install an anti-theft system in your vehicle if it doesn’t have one, like a starter interrupt switch or other device. Installation is not expensive.
- Use VIN etching – chemically etch the Vehicle Identification Number on the windows of your vehicle as an effective deterrent for thieves.
- Also close and lock all access to the garage and the garage door itself. If you leave the vehicle for a longer period, take off the fuses, or disconnect the power supply, after consultation with your mechanic service.
For the keys:
- Never leave your keys with car park employees or in car wash services.
- Never mark your keys with your name and address. Mark them with your business name and suburb or driver’s license number.
- At your home, do not leave keys lying around on tables, desks or key hooks.
- Remove registration papers from your motor vehicle, to make it difficult for the thief to sell it on the black market. Each licensed driver should carry a copy in their purse or wallet.
When it comes to the vehicle itself, avoid leaving valuables inside your vehicle where passersby can see them. Know where you’re going in advance and avoid known high crime areas even if the alternate route takes longer. And remember, if confronted by a carjacker, do not resist – cars can be replaced; you can’t.
If you have questions about your vehicles security or general auto insurance questions, contact MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd. at 780-436-7880 in Edmonton for superior insurance products customized to your unique needs at the best prices possible.