Danny Manich, Former LoJack Employee, On Protection From Grand Theft

Second to their house, vehicles are most people’s most valuable and prized possessions. They are also among the most commonly stolen. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s “Hot Wheels” report, over 773,000 vehicles were stolen in 2017 alone. That’s more than two cars per minute. “Car theft in the U.S.,” says car-safety expert Danny Manich, “is no joke. It’s something we all need to think about.

Grand theft of a vehicle is a serious felony offense that can lead to jail time and expensive fines. If your car is stolen, you may also be responsible for paying your car insurance deductible. In some cases, your car may not be covered if it’s stolen.  To avoid becoming a victim of grand theft, follow these tips.

1. Lock your doors and close your windows, even if you’re just stepping away for a minute.

2. Park in well-lit areas.

3. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight.

4. Don’t leave your car running unattended.

5. Invest in a steering wheel lock or passive alarm system.

6. Etch your VIN number into your windows.

7. Get a LoJack or similar tracking device installed.”  As a former LoJack employee himself, Danny Manich admits to partial bias, but also says the LoJack product honestly does a great job – even if it’s not being sold by him.

“Most people,” Manich says, “don’t realize how easy it is for a car thief to steal a vehicle. In many cases, all they need is a screwdriver and a few seconds. That’s why it’s so important to take precautions. These days, there are plenty of affordable options available to help protect your car.”

VIN number, in particular, is an important thing to think about when it comes to car theft.  Your VIN is like a fingerprint for your car – it’s unique to your vehicle and can be used to identify it if it’s stolen. Many insurance companies will require you to have your VIN etched into your windows as a condition of coverage. etching the VIN into your windows makes it more difficult for thieves to sell your car parts or the car itself.

If your car is stolen, the first thing you should do is call the police. Then, call your insurance company and file a claim. If you have a tracking device like LoJack, notify them as well so they can help you locate your vehicle.  No matter what, don’t give up hope – many stolen.

As for car jacking – here are some tips from Danny Manich on what to do if a burglar tries to steel your car while you’re still in it.

“If someone tries to carjack you, the best thing to do is give them what they want. Your car can be replaced, but your life can’t.

1. Don’t fight back.

2. Give them your keys and anything else they demand.

3. Get out of the car as quickly and calmly as possible.

4. Move to a safe area and call the police.”

“Trust me,” Danny Manich says, “it’s not cowardly to give your car up in the face of a gun. Calmly leave the material possession behind and rely on a tracking system like LoJack to get it back for you.”

While no one likes to think about their car being stolen, it’s important to be prepared. By taking some simple precautions, you can help avoid becoming a victim of grand theft auto.

What other tips do you have for avoiding car theft? Share them in the comments below!