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Arm it, lock it, secure it for peace of mind

Published:Sunday | July 4, 2021 | 12:05 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Contributor

It is not easy to work, save and sacrifice to buy a motor vehicle and to have it taken away in the twinkling of an eye. It hurts, it’s depressing and, from the gut, it tears you apart. Edith Gardner, retired nurse, says that, if she came and saw an empty space where she parked her car, it would be like a dream.

“I would recommend a wireless immobilizer and/or the kill switch without a button,” says John O. King, alarm technician. Are there simple things to do to prevent this property from being taken?

Here are some simple pointers to consider.

Phase 1

1. An unlocked vehicle is an open invitation to an unscrupulous person. Ensure your vehicle is locked up when you leave for a location, and take the keys with you.

2.Whenever you park the car, remember to remove cell phones, laptops, tablets and other valuable possessions out of sight.

3. Do not leave gift-wrapped packages or cameras lying on the seat. Lock all valuables inside the trunk or take them with you.

4. Close all windows tightly. Professional thieves may have tools to unlock cars through small openings.

5. Be sure that vent or wind-wing windows are shut tightly and locked.

6. Lock your car even if you are making a quick stop at the gas station, fruit stall, post office, corner shop, or pharmacy.

Phase 2

1. Park your vehicle where you can spot it easily.

2. Do not leave your car in an unattended public parking lot for an extended period.

3. Never attach a tag with your name and address to your key ring. If the keys are lost, misplaced or stolen, the tag will lead the criminal to your car and your home.

4. At night, park in well-lit areas with lots of people around.

5. Turn the wheels of your car sharply towards the curb when parking. This makes it extra difficult for anyone to tow your car.

Phase 3

1. When purchasing a car, it is wise to check the manufacturer’s list of anti-theft options, such as interior hood, and trunk releases, locking steering columns.

2. Ensure the purchase and installation of security devices such as interior lock release, second ignition switch or ‘kill switch’, to prevent electrical current from reaching the coil distributor.

3. Fuel switch – This will prevent fuel from reaching the carburettor.

4. Locking devices for batteries, wheels decks, etc.

5. Install alarm devices to activate a siren, horn, lights, or all three to create a loud sound.

6. Devices that attaches to the steering wheel or brake pedal.

Phase 4

1. Be alert to your surroundings, especially where people are approaching your vehicle.

2. Stick with the traffic, avoid lightly travelled streets, whether after dark or in broad daylight.

3. Keep the car and house keys on separate key chains.

4. When stopped in traffic, always leave enough room to make an emergency getaway.