How to Make Your Car Theft-Resistant (But Not Theft-Proof)

As a follow-up to our auto theft ring story—which you should read, especially if you own an older Honda— we thought we’d share a few helpful tips from SPD’s auto theft unit on ways to keep thieves from making off with your sweet ride.

Police say the first step to protecting yourself from car thieves is to make your vehicle a less appealing target.

“Buy a Club or a car alarm,” says auto theft Detective Chris Wrede. “They slow [thieves] down” which means they may just walk down the block and steal someone else’s car, but your AMC Gremlin will remain untouched.

According to Wrede, kill switches, On-Star or Lojack systems will also help deter thieves, or at least make it easier to recover your car if it is taken.

Detective Dennis Hossfeld also suggests buying after-market security systems like On-Star or Lojack, or even a kill switch, as thieves won’t necessarily be deterred by security devices that come standard with some vehicles. “If it comes with the car, it’s going to be defeated,” Hossfeld says.

Finally, police also say you shouldn’t leave your wallet or purse in your car overnight, and shouldn’t keep a hidden key taped to your car, because thieves know where to look.