Former Car Thieves Teach Us How To Protect Our Cars With These 40 Tricks

By Arvyn B

Most of us have access to a car, whether we own one or at least know somebody who drives one. Cars provide loads of convenience and can allow us to travel further and more comfortably than with public transportation and make grocery runs without the added fee for delivery. You can go almost anywhere you desire in a car. That being said, having a car does not mean it’s all fun and games. There is a lot you have to deal with, and today, we are discussing car thieves. In order to help keep yourself safe from these persistent and predatory individuals, some former car thieves have shared the methods they used to use to steal cars. We highly recommend you stay aware of them the next time you take a joy ride!

Car Cover

If you live in a particularly cold or rainy place in the world, then it is almost a necessity that you use a car cover overnight. It is a great way to stop condensation or snow building up on your windshield and mirrors.

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But, did you know that there is actually another great reason to use one, too? According to this user, car thieves will avoid cars with car covers on them because it makes them more challenging to steal. Now you know – wrap it up!

Hide Your Bags

When we’re driving around with a lot of stuff, most of us will try putting our valuables in the trunk, as it is a pretty secure place to hide things. After all, if the thieves cannot see it, then they will not try to steal it.

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But, if you are struggling to fit your valuable things in the trunk, then you can always try this method – put it under the seat. It seems that many thieves will not risk breaking in just to see if there might be something important there at all.

Tinted Windows

If you tend to keep cash inside the car, then we would recommend getting your windows tinted. Not only can they make your car look more expensive and cool, but they also prevent potential car thieves from snooping around.

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Just like the “under the seat” trick above, tinted windows are too much of a risk for thieves. They do not want to waste their time with these vehicles. Make sure you check the law in your area on how tinted they can be.


It is industry standard now for cars to have a built-in alarm, which will go off whenever someone tries to break into your car. However, sometimes even the slightest things can set them off, so we sometimes just ignore it when it happens.

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This can be a big problem if someone is actually breaking into your car, so we recommend following this advice and getting one with a pager. That way, you know when it’s your alarm that’s going off, and you should go check it.

Easy Pickings

Here is some advice that might seem pretty obvious to some people, but it is still essential. If you are making a quick stop in your car, do not leave your keys in the ignition. Even for a short period of time!

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The smallest of opportunities is still a chance for car thieves to get in and drive off. Always make sure you take the keys out and lock the door before you leave your car. You can never leave things up to chance!

Document Dilemma

If you have a car, then you will know that there is usually a lot of paperwork associated with owning a vehicle. From car taxes to insurance documents, it feels like you are overwhelmed with all the documents you have to keep up with!

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Here is a pro tip – whatever you do, do not leave these documents inside the car. If someone breaks into your car and steals it, they have everything they need to pretend that the car is theirs and not yours.

Stolen Wheels

If you are someone who always locks their doors and never leaves important things inside their car, then you might think you are safe from a robbery. Unfortunately, you would be wrong, as there is still something for thieves to steal.

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They do not even need to get into your vehicle for this one – all they need to do is take off your wheels. You might think that it is pointless, but they can actually sell these for a good amount of money.

Wheel Lock

So far, it seems that the trick of making your car safe from thieves is by making things as difficult as possible for them. The more work they have to do, the less likely these individuals are to steal your car.

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One of the best ways to do this is by investing in a steering wheel lock. This stops anyone from driving the car without the key to unlocking the device, making it much more difficult to break in and drive off.

Stolen System

There are some parts of your car that you might think are difficult to hide, such as the stereo system. This is a common feature in most cars today, and it can be a pain to try and cover it up every time you leave your vehicle.

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But, we strongly recommend that you do this – especially after reading the advice that this user gave. Stereos are a key target for car thieves, and removing the faceplate is a great way to protect yourself from any wandering eyes.

Money Problems

Our next one seems like it should be pretty obvious, and we do hope that everyone has tried this before. It should be clear that you should never leave money lying around in your car in the open for someone to see.

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Some of us might keep it there for an emergency – but do not do this. If you really need to keep some money in your car, make sure you put it somewhere out of sight, like the ashtray or in the middle compartment.

Car Brand

Of course, there are some factors that are well within your control to try and stop car thieves. One of the easiest ones to keep an eye on is the brand of your car, as there are specific models that thieves look for.

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This can change from year to year, so we strongly recommend that you keep an eye on things by doing some internet research. If your model is popular with thieves this year, you should definitely try protecting it with some of the methods on this list.

Secure Site

Nobody enjoys paying for parking, as it can sometimes be very costly and seems like a waste of money. However, we strongly recommend that you find a secure site to keep your car and pay a little extra for safety.

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No matter how much the charge is to park the car, it will be nowhere near the cost of having to replace your vehicle if it gets stolen. That can easily run into the thousands, and the emotional damage of this loss is priceless.

Van Safety

You might think that you are safe from car thieves because you have a van. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Some car thieves specifically target these vehicles because of the tools that are inside. Keep yourself and your valuables safe!

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Double-check to make sure that the door is locked, and try to invest in some tools that are clearly labeled with your company’s name on them. You should also follow the tips from other entries on this list to stay safe.

Number Plates

Once your car is stolen, you might think it was easy to track your vehicle, but that is not always true. All it takes is a little unscrewing with a screwdriver, and the thieves can take off the number plate.

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They can then swap this plate for another one, making it seem like the car is a completely different one that they can sell. To make things more complicated for them, we recommend using security screws to keep the plate in place.

Swap the Spot

All of us have a routine when we drive our cars, and this is especially true when going to work. You might find yourself parking your vehicle in the same spot every day. Well – you should not do this.

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Thieves often keep an eye on where vehicles usually go, so parking in the same spot will make it easier for them. You should try to park in different places each time so they cannot rely on getting your vehicle.

Electric Cars

Having a car with an electric fuel pump seems like it should make your life a lot easier, but it can actually have the opposite effect. Electric cars are a common one for thieves to steal, so you should follow this tip.

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All you need to do is run a switch using the advice above, and this will make sure that turning on the fuel pump will not turn the car on, too. This makes it a lot harder for thieves and much safer for you.

Light Spot

Most of us will have been told by a loved one that we should never park our car in a dark area – and there is a good reason for that. Most thieves will choose cars parked in the dark when looking for something to steal.

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If you keep your car parked in the light, this will help to discourage any potential criminals. Vehicles in the sunshine are much easier to see, which means it is harder for thieves to commit crimes and not get caught. Stay in the light!

Motion Sensor Light

This particular type of light is a worthwhile investment because it not only protects your car but also keeps your house safe from potential burglars too. They can be pretty costly, but we think that they are very much worth it.

As this user said, though, you need to make sure that these lights are not placed too low. If you do not put them up high enough, they can easily snatch the lights and make them pointless. Keep them high, and you’ll be fine.

Sensible Sticker

Some of the tricks on this list can be a little pricey, and we can totally understand if you are worried about how to keep your car safe on the cheap. Never fear – here is an easy solution for you.

Apparently, just putting a sticker saying there is an alarm system installed is enough to keep away some criminals. Of course, if they really want your car, no amount of alarms will stop them, but a sticker is a good start.

Keyhole Hack

If you have an older car, then we recommend you perhaps invest in a newer model because you are leaving yourself open to thieves. Any car with a keyhole can easily be hacked with a piece of string to get it open.

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Most newer cars do not have a keyhole and, as a result, do not suffer from these problems. Obviously, if you have a keyhole, you cannot do much to protect yourself – just follow the other tips on this list.

Suction Situation

One pretty common feature of cars today is some kind of suction device to keep your phone or other electronic devices held up. These are pretty useful, especially if you own a Sat Nav – but you should be careful with these.

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Suction cup devices or any kind of electronic prop are signals to thieves that there are electronics inside. You can try hiding the devices from them, but they will still break in, so we recommend taking out the electronic props altogether.

Open Invitation

A car door is probably the easiest way for a thief to get in, but do not let that fool you – even a window or sunroof is an easy opportunity. Always double and trip check you close them before leaving your vehicle.

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If you do not do this, then you might find that a few of your items have suddenly gone missing. Car thieves will look for any way to get into your vehicles, and a tiny sunroof will not stop them.

Suction Mark

We have already spoken about removing the suction cups from the inside of our vehicle, but that alone might not be enough. You should make sure to wipe down the window to remove any residue left behind by the cups.

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When thieves are looking around for a vehicle to steal, they will specifically look for these marks. This tells them that there is probably an expensive electronic inside the car that is worth stealing, which you definitely don’t want to do.

Unknown Sound

It is a fact — car thieves are getting smarter and smarter. Sometimes, they will not even try to get your vehicle when you are parked but will instead prey upon you as you leave. How do they do that?

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Well, it is simple. All they need to do is make some kind of distraction to get you out of the car. Sometimes, this includes putting logs on the road so you will get out, and they will jump into the vehicle.

Tricky Trunk

Our next entry seems pretty strange, but it is apparently very real. It appears that thieves often do not go into the trunk, and we are not too sure why. Perhaps it is because it can be challenging to open.

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Whatever the reason is, you should certainly take this as good news because it means that you can hide any valuables in the trunk without fear of them getting stolen. You should still be careful with what you keep in there, though.

Spare Keys

Whenever you buy a car, it is likely that you will also get a set of spare keys too. Most people will put these inside of the car — this is a rookie mistake! Doing this makes it much easier for car thieves.

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Keep the keys in your house, but make sure that they are somewhere that house thieves will not find either. We recommend getting a safe and putting the keys inside, or at least inside a secure location of your house.

In the name

Most of us will only consider expensive items as being valuable. Still, it is essential to hide things identifying you, like passports or important letters. If car thieves spot these in your vehicle, it sends a wrong message to them.

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They will presume that you will be away from the house for a while, so they will help themselves to free entry to your home. In general, though, you should make sure any important documents are kept safely away from prying eyes.

Professionals Only

One of the easiest ways to stop car thieves is by getting a car alarm installed, which you can get done at most shopping malls. However, we recommend trying something that is a little less obvious if you’re trying to keep your car safe.

If you try a professional installer, then these people will know what thieves specifically look for when targeting cars. They can give you much better protection from anyone who wants to take your vehicle. There is no better way to protect your car then to ask the experts who know how to steal it.

On the Top

If you are someone who travels a lot, you might have a roof rack or other device installed on the top of your vehicle. This can make things much more convenient for you on your travels, but it also helps car thieves.

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No matter how many special locks your install, your racks will never be completely safe from thieves who really want your items. We recommend taking anything on the rack inside your house to keep them safe from pesky car burglars.

Carless Keys

Carless keys are another type of invention that makes things much easier for both car owners and thieves. There are many devices out there that can “trick” your car into opening and thinking the keys are present in the vehicle.

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Buying a cheap Faraday pouch online is the way to go, as it stops the signals from your keys being highjacked and copied on people’s devices. This means that they cannot trick your car into letting the thieves drive off.

Reverse Park

All of us like to park our cars in different ways — some people prefer the reverse park, while others like to go straight in. If you are a reverse parker, then we recommend that you stop doing this maneuver immediately.

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Reverse parking makes it so much easier for thieves to take your vehicle because all they need to do is just drive the car away once they’re inside. Parking straight on means it will take a little longer for them to leave, which can mean the difference between them being spotted or not.

Baby Monitor

Some of the entries on this list so far have been a little on the expensive side, so here is another idea that will save you money. Try putting a baby monitor inside your car to keep an eye on what is happening.

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If anybody tries to break into your vehicle, you will easily see and hear them doing it. They can be put in quite quiet places, and they are a great way to catch any criminals in action. They will be busted!

Kill Switch

Our next entry is probably one of the most effective ones on the list, but it can be a challenge to install. Kill switches stop the engine from working at all until they are disabled. They are usually hidden somewhere difficult to spot.

Some cars have multiple kill switches, which makes things even more painful for thieves. We recommend getting a professional to install them because they are a pain to get right — but totally worth the investment since they’re almost completely fail-safe.

Steering Wheel

If you are looking to protect your vehicle from thieves, then this is probably the most definite way to do it. Nobody can drive a car safely without a steering wheel — not even thieves are capable of doing it!

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Getting a removable steering wheel installed is not too difficult, and it can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Of course, finding somewhere to put the wheel is another matter entirely, as they are pretty big!

GPS Tracker

Most people get GPS trackers installed in their cars to keep them safe. Still, thieves are also using this technique, too — especially with expensive cars. They will hide a GPS tracker somewhere under the vehicle and keep a close eye on it.

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This way, they can see exactly where you drive and at what times the vehicle is abandoned. They will also know when your house is empty, and they can break-in. Routinely check your vehicle to see if one is hidden.

Tire Lock

Another very effective way of protecting your car is by including a tire lock on one of the wheels. Sure, they can be quite a challenge to install, but they will definitely keep your vehicle safe from any potential thieves.

After all, driving a vehicle with a tire lock on it is pretty impossible! This is a great solution if you are looking to park your car somewhere for a long time — just do not forget to hide your keys, too.

Coin Catcher

This is another simple but clever trick that thieves use to get into your vehicle. By sticking a coin in the door handle, they can trick your car into thinking the door is locked — but really, it is not.

Then, they can open the door and drive off when you are not around. They will usually do this to the passenger doors, so make sure you check each door of your car before you lock it. You just never know!

Closed Windows

We have already spoken about something similar before, but this is such an important point that it is worth repeating. You should always ensure that your windows are closed when leaving your vehicle — even the tiniest gaps matter when it comes to thieves.

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The smallest window is still a way to get into your car, which means a thief can get inside. They can do anything they like, from stealing your possessions to driving off with the vehicle itself. Always close the windows!

Wheels In

Here is another simple trick to stop car thieves that will not cost you anything extra. All you have to do is turn the wheels in to stop thieves from making a clean getaway. The wheel lock will start once you’ve got out of the car…

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…which makes it much more difficult to get the wheels out of this position. This can add valuable seconds or even minutes to the thieves’ getaway, which could potentially help you to catch them. It is a very easy fix!

First Impressions

We have demonstrated quite a few different ways of protecting your vehicle. Still, it is vital to remember that first impressions are the most important way. If you use a number of these methods, your car will seem much harder to steal.

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If your car seems harder to steal, thieves are much less likely to bother trying to take it. Of course, no method is 100% effective at stopping thieves, but you should do all you can to keep your vehicle safe.