Keeping Your Vehicle Safe As The Missoula Car Crime Spree Continues

Over the past few weeks, the local press has contained one story after another relating to car crime in Missoula and the surrounding area. One serial car thief was arrested in late April after a string of crimes, and over the first weekend in June, two more suspects were arrested in separate incidents, both involving stolen cars.

The fact that the police are making arrests and getting criminals off the streets will be greeted with relief by local residents, but it highlights the importance of keeping your car safe. Around 850,000 Americans are the victims of car theft every year. As well as the stress and feelings of violation, there are also financial consequences, as you will find that when you seek renewal quotes on your auto insurance, you will be assessed as a higher risk and the premium will go sky high. So how can you prevent yourself from becoming just another statistic?

Keep it locked

It sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people jump out of the car to fetch something and leave the vehicle unlocked and with the keys in, “just for a minute.” It only takes seconds for the car to be gone, as was the case in that first example of the vehicle stolen in April. Also, when winter comes back around, resist the temptation to leave the engine running to warm up while you pop back into the house. This practice led to a spate of car thefts in Missoula last holiday season.

Protect your home

On TV, we still see thieves breaking into cars and shorting out wires under the dashboard to start the engine. In real life, that’s not possible with the immobilizers on today’s modern cars, and they are almost impossible to start without keys. That’s why most car thieves simply steal the key. Ensure your home is locked at night, and keep car keys stored out of sight and away from doors and windows.

Park smart

Thieves like to work under cover of darkness. We don’t all have a secure garage in which to tuck away our car for the night, but even if you have to leave your vehicle parked on the street, you can reduce the likelihood of theft by leaving it under a streetlight or in an area well-lit by buildings.

The local police are doing a great job tackling car crime in Missoula. But it is up to all of us to help them by protecting our own property and making it as tough as possible for the criminals.