Your car is an important possession. Without it most of us would lose the ability to earn a living and provide for our families. Your car gives you great convenience, allowing you to travel and pursue your personal interests. It’s exactly this combination of value and convenience that places you, your loved ones, and the valuables you transport at risk as you travel through an often dangerous environment.
Protecting our loved ones and our vehicles should be a top priority for us all. Crime prevention and security experts estimate that a vehicle is stolen every 20 seconds in the United States. That’s well over two million stolen vehicles annually. And, this year there will be over 40,000 potentially deadly carjackings, nearly half of which result in personal injury. One out of every 29 vehicles will be stolen this year. And its not just a “big city crime.” Even in smaller cities, one out of every 50 vehicles will be stolen.
Who Are The Criminals?
Vehicle related crimes are committed by a wide range of criminals. They can be young thrill seekers, adult professionals using high-tech tools that disable security systems, or violent criminals willing to commit person-to-person crimes to steal a vehicle or its cargo.
How Can You Stop Them?
First and foremost, follow the suggestions listed in the Don’t Be A Victim section below. These common sense reminders focus on personal awareness of potentially dangerous situations and the use of mechanical and electronic devices to deter and defeat criminals.
Don’t Be A Victim!
1) Be Alert! Awareness of what’s going on around you is your best defense.
2) Always turn off your engine and lock your doors - even at the gas station or convenience store.
3) Drive with your doors locked and windows up. Never roll down your window for a suspicious person.
4) Avoid dark, isolated areas. If a suspicious person is near your vehicle do not approach it.
5) Place packages and valuables in the trunk or out of sight.
6) If you are confronted by a carjacker, don’t resist. Your personal safety is more important than your vehicle.
7) If you don’t already have one, install a quality electronic vehicle security system that includes all of the deterrent features listed in Security Systems Essentials.
8) If you have a factory installed keyless entry system or an after-market alarm system, check it against the Security System Essentials list and update your system to protect against high-tech thieves.
Vehicle Security Systems
There are four basic types of vehicle security systems:
1) Mechanical locking devices
2) Simple kill switches
3) Electronic tracking devices
4) Full featured remote controlled systems.
Attach to the steering wheel, steering column, gearshift, or a wheel of the vehicle. They provide a basic level of protection from the amateur thief, but present little challenge to a professional, and may actually increase the level of tension and danger during a carjacking.
Are hidden switches that allow the owner to disable the starter or fuel system. They give basic theft protection from amateurs, but are easily defeated by a knowledgeable thief and offer no personal protection.
These hidden transmitters are activated by police to track and locate stolen vehicles. They offer good recovery results against low-level car thieves, but can be quickly disabled by high-tech professionals. The latest
generation of tracking systems incorporate satellite tracking locators and electronic kill switches, but require a permanent vehicle cellular phone and a monthly monitoring fee.
Full Featured Remote Systems:
Today’s remote controlled keyless entry and security systems offer the most efficient and affordable protection. They incorporate security technology that defeats the most sophisticated thieves, and personal protection and convenience for you and your loved ones. However, many essential security features have just become available. For example, most factory installed keyless entry and aftermarket alarm systems offer no protection from today’s professional thieves, who use transmitter code grabbers to steal your vehicle.
Security System Essentials
Your best investment in vehicle security is to install or upgrade to a system equipped with the following:
Unauthorized Transmitter Alert:
Today’s thieves know that all keyless entry and security systems have the ability to learn to respond to up to four remote transmitters. With a moment alone in your vehicle they can add their transmitter to work your system. This feature signals you every time you turn on the ignition key by flashing an LED light to indicate the number of active transmitters. If an additional, unauthorized, transmitter has been added, an audible signal warns you of the change, allowing you to reset the system and defeat the thief.
This feature defeats code grabbing thieves by changing the transmitter code and erasing it forever after each transmission and never using the same code again.
Remotely Controlled Personal Panic Button
Remotely Controlled Personal Panic Button sounds alarm from a distance up to 200 feet from the vehicle, and functions even from inside the vehicle with the engine running to deter carjacking attempts.
Passive Arming Feature
Passive Arming Feature activates the system automatically if the owner forgets.
Starter Disable Feature
Starter Disable Feature makes starting the vehicle impossible when the system is armed.
Unauthorized Transmitter Alert™
The Problem: Unauthorized Transmitters
All keyless entry systems and car alarms can respond to thousands of remote transmitters. Manufacturers want you to be able to add remotes to the system in case you lose yours or want to give one to a family member. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. One transmitter can operate hundreds of vehicles like a master key. Within seconds, mechanics, car wash attendants, salespeople and valet attendants can program their remote transmitter to work your system and the systems of hundreds of other customers, giving them undetected access to all the vehicles.
The Crime: Unauthorized Entry
If you’ve seen the movie “Gone In 60 Seconds,” you realize how efficient thieves are. They no longer need to “clone” your remote transmitter; they can add an entirely new one and they do not need your transmitter to do it. Once they program your system to respond to their remote transmitters, they gain access to your car’s contents and the personal information (like your home address) you keep in the glove compartment. Thieves can come to your home, use their transmitter to disable your alarm, and steal your laptop, garage door opener, golf clubs and tool kit. Because you won’t see signs of forced entry, you won’t file a police report. And the thieves can repeat the crime again and again.
The Solution: Unauthorized Transmitter Alert™
When transmitters are added or deleted from your system, an audible alert will sound each time you turn on the ignition for the next 48 hours. For additional safety, an LED light will blink equal to the number of transmitters programmed to work your system. If an unauthorized change has been made, you can delete it, preventing unknown persons from gaining access to your vehicle.
Report The Crime
If items in your car repeatedly disappear or your car was stolen after you armed the car alarm, your system may have been penetrated by thieves. If you think unknown individuals have access to your car, please call 800-554-4053 and report the crime. Then, protect your vehicle by purchasing an alarm or keyless entry system equipped with Unauthorized Transmitter Alert™ (UTA). If your system doesn’t have UTA, then your vehicle and its contents are not secure.