How Car Thieves Operate And How To Prevent It


Everyday cars are stolen across the country. According to statistics, a car is stolen every 5 minutes in Nigeria. This is an alarming observation. Several car thieves under police custody have confessed on how they have been able to get away successfully with stealing cars. Based on these confessions we have put together a list of how they operate and successfully get away with it. This will help you prevent being a victim of this shocking trend.

Your Car Model Already Makes It A Target: Toyota, Honda, Acura, Mercedes etc. are some of the hottest selling cars in the country. These brands are car thieves favourite brands because they are fast to sell. They have good resale value so are the parts. Such cars are always car thieves target.

It Matters Where You Park Your Car: Car thieves avoid cars parked in front of houses and in driveways because they’re too wide open and visible. In short they hate public places where they can be seen easily. Dark secluded locations, isolated parking lots and garages can be appealing to car thieves because they can have their pick of vehicles in one location. According to a car thief, he says, “I liked it because it’s quiet. I can hear if somebody is coming.”

Car Thieves Dislike 5 Things-Daytime, Kill Switches, Alarms, Nosy Neighbours and Security Cameras: Being quick and inconspicuous is necessary when stealing a car. That’s why car thieves avoid things that may call attention to themselves. This means at certain times of the day, typically between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., because most people are asleep. “It’s nice and quiet, less distractions, less people walking around,” says an apprehended car thief.

Having a kill switch in your car can also deter thieves. Kill switches disrupt the flow of electricity at the battery or ignition or disable the fuel pump. If well hidden, kill switches may take a while to deactivate and can deter car thieves who don’t want to waste time and will move on to another car.

Good alarms with motion sensors, nosy neighbors, and security cameras also deter car thieves, who will simply go to other areas where they can avoid those certain things.

Never Ever Leave Your Car Running: While it might seem like a great idea to warm your car up in the morning or make a quick dash to pick something you forgot indoors, car thieves will simply hop in the car, put it in drive, and go. Police also warns that leaving your keys in your car at a fuelling station, even while you are pumping fuel into your car, is an invitation to have your car stolen.

Don’t Keep Spare Keys In Your Car: Think you’ve got a great hiding spot for your spare keys? Car thieves know where to look. Glove compartment, center console, door, change tray, you name it, are places car thieves look at when they break into a car. In case you don’t know, by law, car key found inside a car is not a felony, it could be argued in court as a joyriding which is a misdemeanor, so be careful.

There Might Be A Key Inside Your Car You Don’t Know About: Some people might own a car and not know they have a valet key inside their car. Some car brands and models comes with valet keys which can usually unlock the driver’s side door and start the car, but can’t unlock the trunk or the glove box. This key is normally used when someone else operates your vehicle, such as a valet parking attendant. For example, in some BMW models, the valet key is usually in the car’s tool kit in the trunk. That is why reading your car manual is important. Never toss your car manual aside because it comes with wealth of information about your car. While most people don’t know they have a valet key, car thieves do, and they use them to easily steal and drive away with a car.

The Biggest Mistake You Could Make Is… Leaving the window open even one inch can be just what it takes for a car thief to easily steal your car. Most people believe that they can leave a little air in the car with the windows opened just a crack, that no one can get into the vehicle. A window that has enough room to stick fingers in can get out of its track by rocking it back and forth.

Whenever you park your car be cautious because carelessness can lead you into a very difficult and confused situation if your car is stolen.

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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