How to Prevent Car Theft in Cleveland

The East side suburbs have growing reports of car theft. Don’t panic, it’s still not that common and there are few simple things you can do to help protect yourself.


Don’t Leave your Keys in your Car

This is the number one thing you can start doing today to reduce your chances of having your car stolen. Most people who call us for locksmith service after their car was stolen and then recovered left their keys in the car. Don’t let the car run while you are making a quick trip to the store!

Lock your Doors

Many cars can be stolen without complicated tools. Locking your car doors helps prevent thieves from stealing items inside your car or the car itself. When you’re done parking your car – roll up the car windows and lock your car.

Don’t Leave your Spare Keys in Your Car

A surprising number of people leave spare keys in their car. If your car is locked the keys inside won’t help you. If you’ve lost your keys, after someone opens the car, you can use them to drive. However, it’s generally not the safest idea to store a spare key inside the vehicle. Instead, try carrying the spare in a day bag, in a wallet, or in a purse.

Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car

Thieves might first be attracted to a vehicle if they see valuables inside your car. If you must store valuables inside your car, put them in the trunk or somehow hid them from plain sight.

How are People Stealing Cars

People have a perception of car thieves using a slim jim tool on the window and lock to open the door. Then they go inside the car and “hot wire” it. While some version of this is possible and certainly easier to do with some models than others this isn’t really the most common way.

1) They’re Using Tools

Here is an article from News 5 Cleveland that provides some details about tools and methods this crew was using. Essentially, they had a method for a certain type of car and repeated it. This was a more sophisticated care theft ring that is not the most common way people steal cars

2) Someone Left a Key in the Car

This is probably the most common, and preventable way, people steal cars. Someone left a key in the car on the seat or even left the car running.

3) Carjacking

Unfortunately, this is becoming the popular way that people are stealing cars. Transponders, high security key systems, and smart fobs are making it harder to use brute force methods similar to “hot wiring” the car. They need the physical key or car fob in order to start the car. There are several methods that people use.

       A) Fake Car accidents

One method is by using two different vehicles. The criminals will bump a car. The victim will stop their car and get out. At this point, a second vehicle will also stop, someone will get out and then grab the keys from the victim. The perpetrators will then drive off in their two original cars and the stolen one. If you are in an accident, it’s a good idea to stop, call the police, and remain in your vehicle.

      B) Wait and Rush

Car thieves will wait outside someone’s house early in the morning. They’re waiting for them to leave for the day. People are generally waiting for their morning coffee to kick in and are thinking about their day. When the person takes out their keys they’ll pop out, grab the keys, and take off with the vehicle. Sometimes people are pushed or assaulted in other ways. You never know what a criminal might do if they encounter resistance. Generally, criminals are not looking for a fight, they are looking for an easy way of making money. If they encounter resistance they may act out very violently to prevent getting caught. It’s wise to have good auto insurance and just let the person take the car. Most of the time the vehicles are recovered fairly soon after they are taken. Surprisingly, they are often not even damaged

Carjackings are a frightening thing. It’s pretty traumatic being robbed of one of your most valuable assets and/or being physically assaulted during a car theft. One thing you can do is have ample lighting outside your house and on your driveway. The second, is installing a security camera system. A visible security camera system will prevent many people from targeting that particular home or area.