Tag Archives: Car Security

The Top Stolen Vehicles In Florida & How To Protect Your Vehicle From Theft

The Top Stolen Vehicles In Florida & How To Protect Your Vehicle From TheftNo one wants to think about their car being stolen. That’s because your vehicle is more than just a valuable possession, it’s crucial transportation – especially when you have children or face an emergency situation. The unfortunate reality is that vehicle thefts happen quite often. Each year, America sees almost 600,000 automobile thefts.

Top Stolen Vehicles In America

These incidents also involve a variety of machine thefts, including scooters, all-terrain vehicles, and motorcycles. Some are at higher risk of being stolen than others, however. Across the nation, the vehicles most often stolen are:

  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Ford Truck
  • Chevrolet Truck
  • Toyota Camry
  • Dodge Truck
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Nissan Altima
  • Acura Integra
  • Nissan Maxima

Top Stolen Vehicles In Florida

But here in Florida, things are a bit different. While many of the contenders are the same, there are a few noticeable differences. Vehicles most often that have been stolen in the Sunshine State are:

  • Ford Truck
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda Accord
  • Toyota Camry
  • Nissan Altima
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Chevrolet Truck
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Dodge Truck

Are you surprised by the findings? Many people don’t think vehicles such as the Honda Accord or Camry would be targeted. What’s more concerning is that the Ford F-Series is the most frequently stolen, but also the most popular truck in the nation with more than 750,000 sales annually.

So how can you protect your property?

Tips For Protecting Your Vehicle From Theft

There are plenty of ways to help keep your ride safe, and many of them are easy to integrate into your routine. For example, you should always be mindful of where you leave your keys. You can also park in safer, cleaner areas whenever possible. But this is just the beginning. If you want maximum automobile security, you should:

  • Keep your vehicle in a garage – Thieves target vehicles on the street. They’re easy to find, approach, and ultimately take. If you have a garage, you should use it when possible. If you do not have a garage, building one could be a worthy investment.
  • Maintain the vehicle – Believe it or not, the better care you take of your ride, the less likely it is to be targeted. Thieves know you probably have an alarm if you value your ride. Keep your car clean and cared for, and it will deter criminals on its own.
  • Place an alarm sticker on the window – LED lights work, too. Thieves want vehicles that are easy to swipe, and any sign of an alarm will help turn them away. Even if there is no alarm system, the chance that there could be will make them think twice.
  • Remove your valuables – Criminals are tempted to break into your car if they see something worth stealing. You should always put away mobile devices, navigation systems, purses, and so forth. Even if you leave them in the vehicle, place them somewhere out of sight of passersby.
  • Use a steering club – Installing one of these gives thieves serious pause, even though they’re not extremely effective. It works the same way as the stickers and lights by presenting the impression of a challenge.
  • Lock the doors – It sounds simple, but it’s effective. Many people think locking the doors doesn’t matter since a criminal will break the window to access your car. The truth, however, is that thieves will target cars and trucks that can be easily accessed. Most thieves simply target the first unlocked vehicle they come upon.
  • Use a hidden kill switch – This is far more expensive, but it could be well worth the cost and effort. Once installed, your car won’t run until a secret switch is flipped. The switch can be placed just about anywhere. Most thieves will simply move on instead of trying to figure out how to get the car started.
  • Take the steering wheel –  Again, this is a more in-depth solution, but it works. Criminals are more likely to pass by your automobile if it doesn’t have a steering wheel.
  • Buy a standard shift – Many people can’t drive manual vehicles so these cars are often bypassed by would-be thieves.

When it comes to keeping your vehicle safe, common sense and due diligence go a long way.

Purchasing A Transponder Key At Retailers vs. The Automotive Manufacturer

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Pros, Cons-Transponder Key At Retailers vs. Automotive ManufacturerWhen you buy a new or newer vehicle, the dealer will usually give you what’s called transponder, chipped or automotive security keys. Most of the new cars available on the market today come equipped with this type of key.

How Does A Transponder Key Work?

A transponder key is equipped with an RF responder. Your vehicle has a device placed near its ignition switch which is a receiver. The key emits a unique low-level signal that your car is only able to detect once you put that specific key (or the second key) into the ignition.

Automotive manufacturers use transponder keys to prevent cars from being hot-wired. The car cannot be started unless the device at the switch detects the right signal from the key. If someone tries to use a copied key to start the car and it doesn’t have the right signal, the car will not start. Likewise, if someone tries to steal the car by hot-wiring it, the car won’t start because the signal from the key is missing.

Purchasing A Transponder Key At Retailers vs. The Automotive Manufacturer

Discover the pros and cons of purchasing your security, chipped car keys at a retail store compared to the auto dealer.

Transponder Keys From A Retailer

Some retailers have unlock codes for different models of transponder keys. You will need to buy a transponder key from the store and have an employee program it for your vehicle. This option is less expensive than buying a transponder key from the automotive manufacturer, but you still need to go to the store to make a purchase. There is also a chance that the key you buy will not work correctly in your specific make and model of car. It’s important to thoroughly test it several times (open your car doors, start, shift into different gears, shut off and start again) before leaving the store.

Transponder Keys From The Automotive Manufacturer (Dealer)

You do have the option of getting a replacement transponder key supplied by your car manufacturer. You would need to take your vehicle registration and your ID to a dealership to have a key cut from your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The advantage to using this method is that you would be assured that the chipped key would work in your vehicle. The disadvantage is the cost. This is the most expensive method of purchasing these types of keys.

Click here to find out if you have a transponder key and what to do if you lock your keys in your car!

Why Today’s Car Security Systems Aren’t Very Effective At Theft Prevention

There’s no question that car security systems have become more sophisticated over the years. As technology has become more advanced, would-be thieves have also adapted and become more clever at finding ways to dismantle, disable, or simply get around the anti-theft devices that we use or install on our vehicles.

While there is no way to completely eliminate car theft, we can be vigilant about our vehicle protection and get smart about safety, including consulting with an emergency Sarasota locksmith for advice.

Emergency Sarasota Locksmith-Theft Prevention

Car Security Systems And Theft Prevention

Factory Installed Car Alarms

These theft prevention devices are common on most newer vehicles. The problem with them is that they no longer really act as a deterrent to car thieves. Once the theft is in progress, a thief who has a bit of experience will find them very easy to disable.

Tracking Systems

Tracking systems use a GPS transmitter to track the vehicle and cellular technology to communicate with the monitoring center. Radio technology is typically used to recover stolen vehicles. These systems are very effective, but have limitations.

OnStar, one of the best-known brands, is not available to all vehicle owners. It is only offered to GM customers. The first year is free; however, subscribers have to pay approximately $200 per year for the basic plan for subsequent years to continue the service.

LoJack is available as an alternative, but only in 26 states. It costs about $700.00 to install and is about 90 percent effective at recovering stolen vehicles. Unless you are looking to protect a higher-end vehicle, this is probably not the best choice for you.

Immobilizing Devices

This type of anti-theft device is often offered as standard in higher-end vehicles. Smart keys can prevent thieves from starting your car if they don’t have the correct key and can prevent hot wiring. They don’t however prevent crafty thieves from hitching your car up to a tow truck and simply towing it away, stripping it for parts or breaking in and stealing your possessions.

Consult A Sarasota Locksmith About Car Security

Car security is just as important as home security. At Locksmith Sarasota, we understand that our customers want to feel safe and protect their property.

Call Us Now To Learn About Affordable, Personalized Solutions
For Your Anti-Theft Needs!