Albuquerque often makes the list of cities with the highest rates of car theft. To prevent becoming a victim, safeguard your car and the things in it to deter thieves from targeting your vehicle.
Common sense is the first defense against car thieves. In short, don’t make your car an attractive or easy target. Discourage thieves by:
- Removing valuables and personal effects—preferably removing them from the car completely but out of view at the very least. “Valuables and personal effects” include identifying information and methods to access other property or possessions, such as keys and garage door openers.
- Locking your car doors every time you leave your car parked. No exceptions.
- Tinting windows to limit casing. Every criminal act involves risk, and thieves want to make sure that the payoff is worth it. If they can’t see what’s in your car, they can’t know that your vehicle is a good target, so they are more likely to move on to another target.
- Installing an alarm, preferably one that provides a visual cue that the car is “armed” so that thieves know your car will draw attention to intrusion.
In addition to preventing theft, these anti-theft measures can help to reduce your insurance premiums as your car poses less of a risk to your insurer, too.
Preventing Wheel & Tire Theft
Criminals can make money off of car parts, including rims, wheels and tires. Fortunately, there are ways to safeguard your wheels and tires specifically.
Before investing in actual anti-theft mechanisms, you can minimize risk for wheel and tire theft by either:
- Parking in a garage or gated area
- Parking in a well-trafficked area
While a garage is preferable because it adds an additional barrier between thieves and your car (as well as ups the ante on criminal charges because breaking into a garage introduces B & E), high visibility is itself a deterrent. Tire thieves want to be unnoticed, and that’s hard to pull off with cars constantly passing and/or neighbors present.
If you have high-end rims, wheels or tires, then it may be worth the investment in a tire locking system. There are generally two:
- Wheel locks
- Locking lug nuts
Both require a special tool—a key or wrench, respectively—to remove. Thieves will not have these as they are customized to the locks or lug nuts. Locking lug nuts can be melted with a blowtorch to conform to a standard wrench, but that adds time and effort to the thieves’ job, and that detracts from the payoff.