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Help Jennie Theft-Proof her Car!

Jennie in CA has a 2003 Toyota Corolla that keeps catching the eye of thieves. How can she keep pillagers from breaking into her car?

Tom and Ray suggest a fake snake on the seat.

Got any other ideas?

We use the heavy bar (The Club)you lock on the steering wheel. This should be enough of a deterrent on a 7 year old Corolla. The club costs about $40 and is easy to use. On a luxury car the thieves would just cut the steering wheel rim.

We also have fake stickers from an alarm company propmently displayd on both side windows.

If most people breaking into her car are just grabbing a couple items real quick, then keeping things out of sight will make the thieves look elsewhere. If someone’s looking to steal the car itself, there isn’t much she can do to keep the pros from taking it.

Sorry I missed the show. Is there any background? Such as, where does she park? Has someone stolen anything? Has she talked to the local police? Is she worried about someone just taking something out of the car or tanking the car?

Maybe a pet skunk De-scented, would keep them out and if not, even a de-scented skunk can give someone a nasty bite. Those critters are not really sweet pets.

Really guys, just like your show, more information gets better answers.

The next generation car alarm will – in order of increasing cost and effectivness – play last Sunday’s sermon about stealing being a sin or a Beetovian concert. Your idea of the snake is not bad but would be safer if the system just "played snake sounds."
Buster B.

I assume the problem is people taking things out of the car??? The best way to prevent this is to lock the doors, keep the windows all the way up (if they’re left cracked, entry within seconds is very easy for someone with the right tools), and keep valuables, as well as anything that may clue someone valuables are in the car, out of sight. My brother recently had a very nice digital camera stolen out of his Jeep. It was in the center console, but he didn’t lock the doors for his quick trip into the store. Items of value are popular to pillage from cars because it can look very inconspicuous to anyone who doesn’t know who owns the vehicle, to simply open the door, grab something, and go about your merry way. Fake snake probably won’t work. Real snake may work. According to the original “Gone in 60 Seconds” a Bengal tiger works very well, even against professional car thieves.

And the thieves thank you for it :wink:

Professional thieves carry a short length of hacksaw blade. They cut through the steering wheel and then use the club to put enough torque on the steering column to break the column lock. Then they drive the car away.

The best way to protect your car is with a paging alarm with proximity and impact sensors. And, of course, don’t leave enticing crap around in the car that people might want to steal.

The reality is, if the thief is experienced enough, and he wants in badly enough, he will get in. Carry insurance to cover the losses, and don’t park in bad areas.

If this is a recurring problem despite the normal efforts like
locking doors always,
windows up,
items out of view, etc.

The next step is…UGLY & PLAIN.
Keep the car dirty, an ugly car draws less attention. ( I’ve proven this theory to myself )
REMOVE labels ( fenders, trunk lid, sound system ) that say it’s a high line trim.

If they wanted to steal the whole car they would have already or they’ll just pick it up with a repo style boom and take it in the future. You can’t do anything about that. :frowning:

NRA Decals, Harley Davidson Stickers, Sprinkle Some Spent Ammunition Shell Casings On The Ground, Spill Stale Beer In It, And Leave The Car Unlocked With No Valuables Inside.

Make the car look like a biker’s car, not a chick-mobile.

When I managed a Body Shop, I’d write estimates on cars that had hundreds of dollars of damage from break-ins that netted thieves almost nothing.

When I worked at an airport, planes were always left unlocked because thieves would do thousands of dollars of damage during break-ins and would result in grounding the aircraft pending repairs. (It helped that signs announced that unwelcomed visitors would be sought by the FAA.)

Take out valuables and leave it unlocked !

I’d seriously consider getting the heck away from there and locating in a better area. Where I live people not only don’t lock their cars, but they leave their keys inside. When making short stops, local people often leave the engine running, too. I really don’t know why people tolerate living in crime areas and then complain about it.


The car must be insured and she has to make sure that she wont break rules from the insurer.

The best thing you can do is lock your doors, roll up windows, and not keep any valuables in the car. Even if you remove your MP3 player and GPS, don’t leave the cords in plain site. Criminals are smart enough to know people will just put them in the console. Doing this and parking under a streetlight is really all you can do.

I’ve had several cars broken into over the years and there really isn’t much you can do. It sucks and it’s expensive to deal with – my last car had close to $2k in damage from the window being smashed out and the dashboard being torn to shreds from the criminal stealing my broken CD player.

Your theif has too much time on his hands. Efficient thives carry cordless cutting wheels. Zip-zip and it’s done.

There is a time and place for everything, most of the time I leave my doors unlocked because then I only have to replace a radio, not a window also. There are places I lock the car because it keeps the honest people out(so to speak). I’d have to hear the show but in NY many people remove the faceplate (some radios have removable face plates)for the radio and leave a note on the dash no radio inside.

Some years ago, my best friend lived in a really bad part of town. He said if I visited him at night, to be sure to carry my cyanide pills with me in case my car broke down. Heh, heh.

He also told me if I parked there while visiting him, to leave the driver’s window down, even if it is raining or snowing. He said if the windows are all up, the neighborhood thugs would break out all the windows to see what I had in there. But, if I left the driver’s window down they wouldn’t pay any attention to the car. I could have $10,000 under the seat, and it wouldn’t be touched.