USask Protective Services together with the Saskatoon Police Service are reminding vehicle owners to protect themselves by removing valuables from their cars. Based on a similar, successful program in Edmonton, the SPS has developed signs which can be displayed in the windows of vehicles declaring “All Valuables Removed”. The signs are designed to remind motorists to remove valuables from their vehicles when parking them, and to deter thieves from entering the vehicle and stealing items.
Vehicle owners on campus may find these signs on their windshields where officers may have marked whether their vehicle appeared to be safe, or if valuables were obviously visible or insecure.
Drivers can re-use the signs afterward for their dashboard to alert would-be thieves that there is nothing of value inside their car or as a reminder to themselves to ensure valuables are not left behind.
The following safety tips can make your car less appealing to thieves:
- Always lock up. It may seem silly to lock your car Alcatraz-style when you're just popping in to pick up a pizza. But taking 5 seconds to do it can save you from weeks of headaches and paperwork.
- Grab your keys. Leaving your keys in the ignition is like sticking a "Steal Me!" sign on your car. Same for leaving your car idling.
- Follow the light. Parking in well-lit areas is safer for you and your car. Since light makes it easier for car thieves to be spotted and identified, odds are they'll be less likely to mess with a car that's parked under bright lights.
- Shut your windows and sunroof. Leaving them open, even just a crack, encourages break-ins. If you're worried that your car will get too hot, invest in windshield sun shades.
- Avoid leaving valuables in your car. Shopping bags, suitcases, laptop accessories, GPS devices, and smart phones entice thieves. Keep all packages and other valuables in the trunk if you have to leave them in your car.
- Consider antitheft devices. Car alarms are just one way to deter theft. Steering wheel locks and protective steering columns, as well as car-disabling locks for the ignition, fuel, and other systems, also make theft more difficult. And if your car is stolen, installed tracking systems can help the police locate your car and improve the chances of recovery. (Having an antitheft device could also score you a nice car insurance discount, too.)
- Use a smart key. When car shopping, look for models with smart keys, which have unique computer chips that can't be duplicated or altered. A driver needs that key, and that key only, to start the ignition.
*Tips provided by esurance.com