How to lower the chance of being a victim of car theft


prevent car theft


How frequent is car theft? Is it an increasing or decreasing trend? What are good ways to take precaution against crimes related to your car?


Crimes directed to cars in Finland

According to the statistic of Tilastokeskus, annually approximately 7000 cars are broken into in Finland. The amount has decreased from 2011, when over 10 000 motor vehicle thefts occurred. The amount of theft in 2015, however, is expected to be higher than in 2014.

Tilastokeskus tells us that the amount of car theft and grand theft auto is currently decreasing. In 2011 over 9000 counts of those offense were recorded, but in 2015 the total amount is expected to remain under 600.

A statistic by the insurance company If, shown in Iltasanomat, shows that most car theft per capita occurs in Oulu, where annually 5,1 car theft per occupant occurs. In the top 5 of car theft, together with Oulu, we can find Helsinki, Vantaa, Tampere and Turku.


Preventing car theft and break-ins

Car theft and break-ins can be efficiently prevented. A crime policy advisory board publication number 5, a research, from 1996 looked into crimes directed against cars, and ways to prevent them.

The publication showed that, at that time, stealing movables from a car was over three times more probable than the car itself getting stolen. Vandalism directed against cars was even more common.


The location of the car affects the risk of being victim to a crime the most

The research concluded (logically), that having your own garage is the most efficient way to protect yourself from car theft. They calculated, that the risk of break-in, theft, and vandalism is over 40 times higher when the car is situated in a named outside parking spot (e.g. building parking lot), compared to own garage.

Lighting and visual contact were observed to have a great preventive effect. Visual contact means a location, where close by are buildings from which a person could see the car. The study also showed that on busy streets, where a lot of people walk, less car thefts and break-ins take place.


You should take care of your car, as it prevents crimes directed against it

You should take good care of your car, as when you do it you probably lower the chance of your car being subjected to crime. This conclusion can be supported by the theory of broken windows, which states that disturbances of city-life, such as littering and vandalism, increase the amount of other criminal activity in the city.

A clean and good looking car gives a good picture of its owner, and many chiefs think that his car is more likely to have an alarm than the dirty car, with a broken tail light, next to it. The aim of prevention is exactly that,, make the thief steal the other car instead of yours.


Window films prevent car theft

Car thieves usually choose the cars they break into on the basis of an assessment which car has most valuable goods compared to the difficulty of the break-in. If the thief can’t properly see into your car, because the windows are tinted, he is more likely to choose another car, through the windows of which he can see the valuable goods he can steal.

Valuable goods, in plain sight, are the biggest reason a thief decides to break into your car. It is clear that you shouldn’t leave valuables in plain sight in you car, but every now and then it is possible, for example that you, or your passenger will drop their brand new cellphone on the car seats. Additionally, professionals often keep their tools in their vans, which make such vans good targets for thief. In this situation, the cover provided by Window films is the best way to protect the van from crimes.

Important documents or personal information should never be kept in the cars, as then car theft becomes identity theft. In addition prevention, you should lower the risk too.


To-do list to prevent car theft

  • Keep your car in a locked garage when ever possible.
  • If you have to keep your car on the street, choose lighted spotted which is visible from the nearby buildings.
  • Park on busy streets rather than stranded far away streets.
  • When parking in a garage, don’t park next to the entrance, as there it is more likely to be broken into
  • Always park your car in a manner that the tries are pointed towards the curb and the steering wheel is left locked. That way it is hard to steal the car by towing it onto a bigger car.
  • Keep your car in good condition and clean.
  • Do not leave valuable items in the car.
  • Buy a separate steering wheel lock and/or alarm.
  • Keep your spare keys in a safe place, not in the car or near it.
  • Do not leave your car running an unattended, as opportunity makes a thief.
  • Get you car tinted with Window film.
  • Get a GPS tracking-device for you car, so you can get it back before it is taken abroad or dismantled.
  • Write down the vehicle identification number of the car with a permanent marker in a few places in the car, so it is easier to identify the car, even if the vehicle identification number is scraped off.