Consumer Reports has advice on preventing vehicle thefts

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Monday, March 18, 2024
Consumer Reports: How to prevent car thefts
Any car can be a target for theft, so Consumer Reports reveals some helpful tips for every vehicle owner.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Car thefts are soaring and as thieves get smarter, so should you.

As Action News has been reporting for years now, the major issue has been with Kias and Hyundais - theft of those vehicles skyrocketing more than 1000% since 2020.

But any car can be a target so Consumer Reports reveals some helpful tips for every vehicle owner.

It's a list you don't want to be on: The most stolen vehicles in America in 2022 were various models of Hyundais and Kias, as well as Chevy and Ford Pickup trucks, and Honda Civic and Accords.

The key to preventing theft? Make it seem like stealing your car is more trouble than it's worth.

Don't leave valuables in your car that can be easily spotted from the outside. Park in a well-lit spot and put on one of those big clunky steering wheel locks.

The blinking red light of a built-in anti-theft device is another way to deter car thieves and it could save you as much as 23% on your auto insurance.

For even more peace of mind, you may want to add a home security camera. A model from Wyze performed well in CR's tests and costs just $50. One camera from Nest has an automatic flood light.

"Simply having a light that turns on automatically if anyone approaches your garage can really be effective in scaring away potential thieves," said Jeff Bartlett of Consumer Reports.

In some situations, a well-positioned video doorbell could also help. Brandon Murphy's Ring doorbell captured his neighbor's car being stolen in the middle of the night.

"The neighbor said his car got stolen, so the first thing I thought was, well we save five days' worth of camera feeds off of the smart doorbell. Sure enough, it was there!" he said.

The local police were able to find the car with no damage.

Some cars come with GPS tracking systems like OnStar.

They won't prevent theft, but they can also help find your car after the fact. You can also add an aftermarket tracking system that plugs into your vehicle's computer port, or have an integrated system, like LoJack, installed by a professional.