DEARBORN – Fewer Americans were victims of car thefts last year. The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report shows a 7.2 percentage decrease in auto thefts compared to 2010. Improved anti-theft devices and safety tips can help continue this downward trend. Unfortunately, potential thieves will not give up on their efforts to steal your car. But with the same persistence, Ford is constantly improving technologies and methods to keep vehicles secure for its customers.
Ford provides several technologies to better protect your investment:
• Remote Keyless Entry allows locking/unlocking at the push of a button
• Passive Entry-Passive Start allows for unlocking and engine starting remotely
• Intrusion sensing system deters against smash-and-grab thefts
• Immobilizer helps prevent drive-away thefts
• Panic alarm draws attention quickly in case of danger
• Perimeter Alarm System deters against unauthorized entry via doors, hood and trunk/liftgate
Despite significant and ongoing improvements in security features, no system is foolproof. The goal of each preventative measure is to deter theft by making it more difficult for thieves to steal your vehicle.
For increased protection, Ford dealers also provide additional anti-theft safety services:
• Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching on windows and other surfaces: VIN etching makes vehicles less attractive to thieves because all windows must be replaced before the vehicle can be tagged with a fake VIN and resold
• Installation of wheel locks, which help protect against wheel theft by requiring a special key to unlock the lug nuts
• Installation of LoJack – a vehicle tacking system that helps police locate and recover vehicles
Everyday things you can do to protect against theft:
You might think most stolen vehicles are expensive sports cars or multipurpose passenger vehicles, but that’s not always the case.
It also doesn’t matter whether you live in a big city, the suburbs or in the country; anyone is susceptible to vehicle theft.
In fact, 40 to 50 percent of vehicle theft is due to driver error, which includes leaving vehicle doors unlocked and leaving keys in the ignition or on the seats.
But there are measures you can take to make sure your vehicle is not an easy target for thieves:
• First, always take your keys; never leave them in or on your vehicle
• Always close and lock all windows and doors when you park
• Park in well-lit areas
• Keep your vehicle in your garage, if possible
• Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially where they can be seen
• Never leave the area while your vehicle is running
Finally, if you have information on an auto theft crime, first report it to police and then see if there is a theft prevention program like Michigan’s Help Eliminate Auto Thefts program (1-800-242-HEAT) that offers potential cash rewards for information on auto theft crimes.
To read the report, click here.