Security Tips for Car Owners In the Baja

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Manuel Amarillas Vanegas

We are finding more and more in our community that cars are no longer being stolen in only places lacking in surveillance, but are also being stolen in plain daylight.  The thieves are so quick that they steal cars from in front of their owner’s homes or in shopping malls.  A person goes shopping, returns to their cars, and – surprise – the car is no longer there.  In light of this trend, here are some safety recommendations for the readers of The Baja Citizen.
Especially in places where there is not much illumination or that have no surveillance, when heading to your car, don’t waste time.  Stay alert, have the keys ready, and make sure no one is loitering in the area.  A vehicle should be used only for transportation between two points.  Many people stay in their cars after a social get-together, causing an increased rate of attacks.
When returning to your parked car and you notice a flat tire or something else wrong with the vehicle, beware of the possibility that someone may be using your misfortune to their advantage and ask you if you need assistance with the intention to steal your vehicle or belongings.  In this situation your best bet is to head to a safe place and call for assistance with your cell phone.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind to keep you and your car safe.
1. Use good judgement and don’t just park anywhere. Try to park in well lit areas and NEVER leave your keys in the car and make sure your doors are locked and your windows are up.
2. Don’t leave valuables in the car or in sight. Always remove the front panel from your car stereo, take your cell phone with you and never leave bags in sight.
3. Install an alarm system that has a siren, so that it attracts attention if something does happen or use a steering wheel/brake pedal lock.
4. Never leave your car running unattended — not even in your driveway — no matter how quick the errand.
5. Don’t leave spare keys in the car or in hiding spots; experienced thieves know even the best hiding places.
6. If you have a high performance or classic car, consider using immobilisers and tracking devices. These will help to secure your car and could reduce your car insurance premium.
Despite the new gadgets and available technology, common sense remains your best defense against car thieves.  Be smart, think ahead and always remain vigilant.

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