How to make your car less attractive to thieves

Kias, Hyundais, Ford F-Series pickups popular targets

Car thefts are soaring, and as thieves get smarter, so should you.

In San Antonio, car thefts were up 53% last year over the previous year, according to police. The top targets were Kias, Hyundais and Ford F-Series pickups.

However, any car can be a target,, so it pays to use common sense and technology to protect it.

Car theft prevention experts say the key is to make it seem like stealing your car is more trouble than it’s worth.

Don’t leave valuables in your car that can be easily spotted from the outside. Park in a well-lit spot and put on one of those big, clunky steering wheel locks.

The blinking red light of a built-in anti-theft device is another way to deter car thieves, and it could save you as much as 23% on your auto insurance.

For even more peace of mind, add a home security camera. A model from Wyze performed well in CR’s tests and cost just $50.

One camera from Nest has an automatic flood light.

“Simply having a light that turns on automatically if anyone approaches your garage can really be effective in scaring away potential thieves,” said Jeff Bartlett with Consumer Reports.

In some situations, a well-positioned video doorbell could also help. Brandon Murphy’s Ring doorbell captured his neighbor’s car being stolen in the middle of the night.

“The neighbor said his car got stolen, so the first thing I thought was, ‘Well, we save five days’ worth of camera feeds off of the smart doorbell.’ Sure enough, it was there,” he said.

Police were able to find the car with no damage.

Some cars come with GPS tracking systems like OnStar. These systems won’t prevent theft, but they can also help you find your car after the fact. You can also add an aftermarket tracking system that plugs into your vehicle’s computer port or have an integrated system, like LoJack, installed by a professional.

About the Author

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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