When buying a new vehicle, many people start to think about their safety in many aspects. Does the vehicle perform reliably in adverse conditions? Do any safety aids come with the vehicle? How do child seats connect with this vehicle?
However, one other concern is a bigger one that many people gloss over – can my vehicle be stolen easily?
Today, we’re taking a look at Jeep vehicles and their risk of being stolen. Car thieves continue to use increasingly sophisticated methods to break in to cars, so let’s take a look at how you can beat them before they get away with your valuable property!
Do Jeeps Get Stolen Often?
Jeep vehicles do not seem to be stolen any more often than any other vehicles. You can find them towards the bottom of various statistical lists about “Which Car Gets Stolen the Most”.
Some car thieves will target pickup trucks due to the high premiums they can sell them for on the black market. Jeep vehicles could provide a nice target to car thieves, however, it does not seem like they are being stolen any more than a multitude of other vehicles.
If you hear about a lot of stories about a Jeep getting broken into or stolen, it may anecdotal in the sense that you have a lot of friends that own a Jeep or maybe you own one yourself, so you could be hearing about them more often.
Do Jeeps get broken into? Yes, it can happen.
Statistics are all fine and well, but if you find your situation where you are worried about your neighborhood surroundings, you’re hearing about a lot of car theft nearby, or you simply want to protect your property, you should keep reading on.
We have all of the information about the best ways to protect yourself and your Jeep so that you can avoid a break-in and keep your Jeep where it belongs – with you!
Car Theft in the United States
Interestingly enough, a car gets stolen more than once per minute in the United States. Sure, there are a lot of people living here in the US and most of them have their own vehicles – but that still seems like a very high number. There are a lot of people out there that are uninformed about the danger of someone simply riding away with your vehicle.
Until you hear a story that is close to you or something happens to a friend or a family member, it may not seem like a real danger. Unfortunately, it is something that you should consider, especially if you park out in public a lot.
Car thieves continue to work on their tactics and seem to be getting better all the time. There are things like smart keys than can steal cars easier than ever before.
They use sneaky tactics like switching vehicle ID numbers and can plan out jobs weeks in advance. How should you protect yourself against these sophisticated criminals?
We’ve got 10 things that you can do that should help you stay safe against this big issue in the US – keep reading on for our specific suggestions.
1. Keep Your Doors Locked
One of the best things to keep car thieves out is one of the most obvious. This is actually good for helping yourself in a few different ways.
When it comes to the sophisticated thieves in the world, locking your doors shows that you are at least paying a bare minimum of attention. They could gain a lot of valuable information by simply getting into your unlocked car that is left out on the street.
On top of that, you also deter other people who may not be aiming to steal your whole car, but it’s simply a good idea to lock your doors.
Sure, you may not care about the $2.00 in change in your center console, but you likely have sensitive documents in your car like vehicle registration and overall it’s simply a bad idea to invite anyone to “creep” around your property for free.
The bottom line: Start by locking your vehicle’s doors.
2. Separate Your Keys From Your Vehicle
You might think that these first few items are silly, but there are people who will leave their keys in the car.
It goes without saying that you are making the criminal’s job about a thousand times easier by leaving the keys in your vehicle as they can simply throw them in the ignition and off you go.
Some people will leave their keys in a vehicle for a short period of time or because they live in a “nice” area. There are no real ways to tell if you are in a safe environment and letting your guard down will lead to situations where your property is in danger.
The bottom line here is that if you leave your keys in your vehicle, you are one broken window from losing your car to a thief.
If you forgot something and need to run back into your house, you should never leave your car running. Things happen – and whether the phone rings, you spill coffee, or you just run into the exact perfect wrong situation, you are still putting yourself at risk.
It can be a pain sometimes, but always remember to remove your keys from your Jeep if you aren’t there.
3. The Problem With Spare Keys
When people think about their spare keys, most people think about the ways that their spares can help them with convenience. However, as convenient as they can be, spare keys allow car thieves to gain another entry method to a vehicle that they may be looking at stealing.
If you leave a spare key somewhere around your car whether it is physically in the car like the glove box, or around your vehicle in the garage, in a lock box, or some other “hidden” container, you may be increasing your own risk of having your vehicle stolen.
This basically comes down to one thing – it may be rather inconvenient to get locked out of your car, but it is going to be a lot more inconvenient if your car gets stolen all together.
Do your best to keep any spare keys in a more secure location, whether that is in your house or on your person, you just want to minimize any specific access that a car thief would have to getting the spare keys to your Jeep.
4. Be Aware of your Jeep
Obviously, Jeep vehicles are a bit more unique than other vehicles in the sense that you can take your top down, you could take your doors off.
Those things are going to lead to potential issues that seem rather obvious. Even in a traditional vehicle, you should be advised to keep your windows closed and locked whenever possible.
This makes sense on a few levels. For one thing, leaving your windows open is just as inviting as leaving your car doors open.
While it may be “just a crack”, it still leaves a valuable gap where a thief could come into your Jeep uninvited. That goes double for vehicles that have complete open spots due to their Jeep configuration.
5. Keep Your Jeep In a Lit Area
Now, we come to something a bit more complex. Parking your Jeep somewhere safe is one of the best tactics to keep it out of harm’s way. If you are currently parking your Jeep in a back alley without any lights on it whatsoever, you may be inadvertently telling car thieves to come visit your vehicle.
If you can park it on a main street that is well lit, that would be a much better option.
Sometimes people want to “hide” their property as that feels a bit more safe than other areas out in the open, however you may just be giving car thieves the cover they need to do their dirty work. It’s not really the best idea to keep your vehicle in the dark.
Simply put, if you can see your Jeep well in natural lighting, then you should be able to see anyone trying to break into the vehicle as well.
6. Put an Audible Alarm or Other Anti-Theft Device in your Jeep
This is one of the biggest things that you can do to prevent your Jeep from being stolen. Having an audible alarm system is one of the top recommendations of any vehicle safety group that is out there.
If you are using an audible alarm, you are going to have a vehicle that emits a loud noise – usually tied to the horn – if someone is trying to steal your vehicle with the alarm on. That noise is going to deter many thieves and help keep your property safe.
Most audible car alarms like this will need to be installed by a professional. If you don’t have much experience working on cars or their alarm systems, you will almost certainly want to defer the work to a pro.
Having something done right is better than having it end up wrong – and it can save you a lot of frustration as well. These alarms can often need to be hooked up to your wiring system so it can get pretty complicated.
Another good way to stop car theft is with a visible device like a steering wheel lock. These could also be flashing lights from an alarm system which show that a car is “locked and loaded” essentially.
These are all signs that show a thief that you are paying attention and that your Jeep is not an easy vehicle to steal. This can act as a deterrent so that they move on to another car all together.
7. Install an Immobilizer
As thieves get more complex, they have system that can “hotwire” your Jeep. You can prevent this by using an immobilizer, or a vehicle immobilizer system.
Basically, you can do this many different ways but it is effectively shutting down your vehicle whenever you are not there. It could utilize a smart key, a kill switch, or some other method altogether. Technology also is getting better for the “good guys” all the time.
Again, this is another system that needs to be set up by professionals so it is best to think about these kind of things well ahead of when you may need them. Generally, the mechanic will need to access your vehicle and its wiring or computer system.
This is hands down one of the best things you can do to protect your Jeep from any kind of harm – especially if you are going to be away from it for a long time, it makes a lot of sense to get a kill switch system like this.
8. Get Tracking
No, this isn’t tracking like the kind that comes on your eBay purchase. This is a “vehicle recovery” system.
While vehicle recovery doesn’t necessarily prevent a thief from stealing your car, obviously it could help you get it back. If car thieves really know what they’re dealing with, it could also act as a deterrent because they don’t want to steal a Jeep where they know the cops will be knocking on their door shortly.
The tracking system uses wireless and GPS technology to emit a signal that can be tracked by the cops and help them find where your vehicle got to. This helps the cops recover your Jeep – and hopefully it will lead to a vehicle that hasn’t been damaged.
Obviously, this isn’t as helpful as the other things on the list because you are still potentially risking a lot of danger to your Jeep – which is why the audible alarms and kill switch technology is so valuable to many Jeep owners.
9. Don’t Attract Attention
All of our “bullet points” today have focused on how to prevent a car thief from breaking it or making it harder for them to do so. That leaves aside one obvious point of strategy – you don’t want to make it more valuable for thieves to break into your car.
Don’t leave valuables inside your Jeep vehicle. If you leave a cell phone, anything valuable, things like purses or bags – these are triggers for thieves. They are going to be more attracted to breaking into your vehicle if they see something like that hanging around.
If you have to travel with these high-priced items, do your best to hide them out of sight or put them in a rear cargo area where they can’t be seen to someone walking by. Many thieves will look around and try to target these high-priced items, so don’t put your car at more risk than it needs to be.
If you think about it, this could attract someone who is “new” to try and steal your car – but if they don’t succeed, well at least they’ll run off with your cell phone. Simply put, don’t push your luck.
10. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
It’s tough in this day and age to really be alert and to know what kind of situation you are in or your car is in.
There is no need to live in perpetual fear, however, you should try to be aware of what kind of area you are parking your Jeep in and if there are any danger signs like people lurking about.
Don’t look down at your phone as you are leaving or entering an open parking lot – show anyone watching that you are aware of what is happening and double check to make sure you have secured your Jeep in an appropriate fashion.
If Your Car Is Stolen
Unfortunately, as we mentioned – there are an alarmingly high number of car theft incidents in the United States today. If your car is stolen, you should get in touch with the police immediately.
You’ll want to give them the following information:
- Year, Make, Model, & Color of Your Vehicle
- License Plate Number
While it may seem a bit extreme to keep this information somewhere, we do recommend the “Notes” section of your phone! There are other times when this comes in handy like checking into a hotel or you may reference it if you are utilizing valet parking.
After contacting the police, you will want to immediately notify your insurance company as well.
You should always be aware that something could happen but you don’t want to go crazy thinking about the worst-case scenarios. That is why it is wise to get an alarm system of some kind so that you have a bit more peace of mind when it comes to your valuable Jeep vehicle.
By using some common sense methods, you should be able to protect your Jeep at a much higher level than leaving it completely open. You may want to install an audible alarm or a kill switch method to keep your Jeep as safe as possible!