Vehicle crime is sometimes unstoppable. A thief can be in your vehicle and gone within 20 seconds, much quicker than most house burglaries. What you can do, however, is take steps to reduce both the chances of your vehicle being targeted in the first place as well as minimise the loss caused if a break in does occur.
Make sure your vehicle is properly locked
This may seem like a simple one, but if your car has remote locking the signal between your remote key and the car can be jammed, preventing the ‘lock’ signal from reaching the car. Vehicle lock jamming devices aren't yet common in Zambia, but with their widespread use in South Africa and Zimbabwe it is wise to be aware of the risk. They work by blocking the signal between your key and the car, thus the car never locks. Always be sure to check the door handle or look and listen for locking conformation.
Park in a well lit and busy area
Light is a thief’s worst enemy. It allows for loiterers and people attempting to break in or vandalise your car to be spotted. If lighting is poor, aim to park somewhere where there is plenty of footfall. Ideally, always park in a secure car park with a security company on site to keen an eye over your vehicle.
Never jump out of the car and leave the engine running or keys in the ignition
Even if jumping out to buy something at the side of the road or use an ATM, it only takes a split second for an opportunistic thief, and a bit of bad luck on your part, to jump in and steel your car.
Do not leave valuables in your car, if you must, then hide them
Even bags on display attract people so don't feel that just because your laptop is in a bag it isn't a target. If you must have them on you, place valuables in the boot or under the seat.
Invest in a car alarm or vehicle tracking
Not only can these reduce your insurance premium but they can also act as a huge deterrent. Security is all about adding layers of protection and making the item you are trying to protect a harder target for theft. The sound of an alarm going off or the logo of a tracking company on the bumper can have this exact effect by making the car a high risk target. Consider using C-track, as fitted to all Pre Secure vehicles, to increase vehicle security.
Park where instructed by security
To the everyday person who visits an event or shopping mall, the car park is just part of the experience. For the security company in charge of preventing crime and maintaining order, a car park becomes a science. Even if it requires queuing up for an extra few minutes to get a space, parking where instructed by a guard will help ensure your cars safety when left. Vehicles parked close together are easier to manage than when spread out… so don't ‘make your own plan!’