How Do You Keep Your Car From Getting Stolen?

Illustration for article titled How Do You Keep Your Car From Getting Stolen?
Image: GM

We had a bit of crime descend on our staff over the weekend, and it got us thinking about car security. There are plenty of conventional — and unconventional — ways of keeping your car in your hot little hands, so what are they?

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I personally have been blessed to have never lost a car to thieves, even in a town notorious for its car-related crimes. Detroit is where the term “carjacking” was coined, after all — a crime that nearly happened to our own police chief in 2013.

While working the early morning weekends at a radio station, I used The Club on my little Saturn Ion’s steering wheel. (They were distributed to Wayne State employees.) But eventually I started just leaving my doors unlocked, having tired of constant break-ins. I once had my passenger side window smashed out and all that was stolen was a bottle of Faygo. (To be fair, it was pineapple, which is the best flavor, so in some ways I understand it.) After a while, replacing glass was just a bigger hassle than losing some worthless thing from my car.

But it’s not just big cities where car theft occurs. Our own Mercedes Streeter’s Audi was almost stolen over the weekend in rural Illinois, but the dastardly operators were thwarted by a dead starter.

Strategies for protecting your ride can run the gamut from high-end professional alarms to simply not keeping the car in running condition. Then there’s that ever-popular theft deterrent, the manual transmission — everyone knows only those with honor can drive stick, and car thieves are without honor. 

What about you? What do you do to keep your cars safe?

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.

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Kumicho