How To Decrease The Odds of Having Your Car Stolen (and how to get it back if it is stolen)

The first and foremost thing to remember is that one should utilize their existing hardware, and look for optimum conditions for parking their car. In other words, ALWAYS lock your doors,  ALWAYS roll up your windows, and always try your best to park in a secure, well lit, and preferably busy area. The efforts you take to prevent car theft from taking place will reap massive returns in overall prevention itself. Thieves are opportunists: If an opportunity does not exist, or requires just a little too much effort to “make the opportunity unfold”, so to speak, then this exponentially decreases chances of vehicle theft. There are too many cars out there, parked in remote areas, with their doors unlocked and keys in the ignition, just begging to be stolen. So simply don’t include your vehicle in that group.

You should always consider supplementing your basic safety efforts, though:

  1. Consider a subscription to a service like On-Star or BMW Assist if your manufacturer offers one. Many of these services have Stolen Vehicle Location and Recovery Assistance and can remotely track and locate your vehicle while communicating with police to help aid in recovery.Get Lojack if your area has Lojack coverage. Lojack is only sold in areas where the police are equipped with Lojack scanners, and does not require a monthly or yearly fee. Chances are if you can buy Lojack in your area, you have coverage. Lojack is a vehicle tracking system that allows police to directly track a stolen vehicle from their police cruisers. This is done directly by the police, without the need of a 3rd party like On-Star to tell them the location.
  2. Get a car security or alarm system with 2 way paging remotes that will notify your remote of your vehicles condition. If the alarm is triggered your remote will alert you of the alarm. Also ECarSecurity offers the Vision Guard 8000 which actually takes a picture from inside the car during the alarm triggering. This picture will quickly be sent to your remote and can help identify a thief.
  3. Consider a 3rd party GPS or GPS/Cellular based tracking system. Most of these have a monthly fee, and will allow to see the location of the vehicle through the companies tracking site or other means. This allows you or them to communicate with the police the location of the stolen vehicle, and some allow you to see the location from your computer as well. This is similar to many fleet-monitoring systems.

  4. Report the theft to police as soon as you find out. The longer a thief has with the car, the longer the thief has to find, remove and disable any OEM or aftermarket tracking system.

  5. Consider going to a watchdog website.

  6. Make sure to etch your VIN in your window. If you have nice aftermarket wheels, stereo equipment, or any other parts you worry about, consider etching your VIN number somewhere inconspicuous (like on the backside or inside lip) of these too. It can make it easier to recover your vehicle and parts. You can ask the dealership for a place that does this.


  • On-Star, BMW Assist and other similar manufacturer assistance systems offer many different plans. When purchasing a car, be sure to check if your manufacturer offers such services for their vehicles. To be sure you can effectively use these systems to help attempt recovery of a stolen vehicle, make sure to select a plan that features some sort of Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Most of the monthly or yearly plans will include this, but it never hurts to be sure before you sign up.
  • Lojack offers an “early Warning system” as well. Consider paying extra for this. This helps inform you quicker of the theft of your vehicle. Through the extra technology, you will be contacted by your chosen method (cell, email, text message, phone call, etc.) the moment the thief drives your car away. This allows you to contact the authorities sooner, increasing chances of recovery.
  • Some 3rd party GPS tracking systems offer different features than others. Some offer a system with early warning as well. Some can be combined with regular alarm systems to aid in prevention as well as recovery. Understand the way it is set up, and available options and systems thoroughly before purchasing a system, to make sure it’s the right one for you. Remember to pay the monthly fee, your expensive GPS tracking system that requires a monthly fee for the monitoring. Like a cell phone, it won’t be effective if you don’t have a service provider. There are many more types available.
  • Get a car alarm with 2 way paging remotes for further protection over your vehicle. You can also opt to get a system like the Vision Guard 8000 which will actually take pictures and send it to your remote!
  • alerts are sent out to people in your area through email and SMS to cell phones. These people will look for your car and call the cops to pick up your ride.
  • Make sure to etch your VIN in your window. Makes it easier to recover your vehicle.


  • Be careful about etching your car’s VIN number on your window if your car is an older Honda because it easier to steal your car if the thief knows the VIN number.

  Sources and Citations