Crime Prevention: What Do Car Thieves Look For?

Crime Prevention: What Do Car Thieves Look For?


Have you ever returned to your car after a night out, only to find it with broken windows and your valuables missing within? This is a horrible realization that can leave you feeling exposed and violated.

If you’re eager to keep this from happening to you and your car, we’ve got a few tips to keep thieves out of your vehicle. Here are the top characteristics thieves look for when breaking into cars.


The first condition any car thief looks for in a target is a vehicle isolated from populated areas. This means that you should avoid parking your car for long periods in obscure, out-of-the-way areas. If you’re parked in a dark alley that’s nowhere near the eye-line of passerby, thieves are more likely to target your car.

Criminals usually follow the path of least resistance. They want to break into a car, steal the valuables, and then vanish before anyone notices they’ve done anything wrong. This is why you should always park your car in a well-lit area, lock your doors, and keep your valuables out of sight.

Full of Valuables

Thieves love to peek into parked cars to see if they’re loaded with small, easy-to-carry valuables. These could include anything from jewelry to electronics. Never leave rings, video game consoles, cell phones, or designer accessories sitting out in your car in plain view of any passerby. 

Stash your expensive items in your glove compartment or under a seat so people walking past your car can’t guess what’s within. If you keep your items hidden, odds are good that criminals will simply ignore your car in favor of juicier-looking targets.

No Security

Criminals also love to find older vehicles that have no security system. You would think that a newer car would be a more attractive target for thieves, but, sadly, the opposite is true. Older cars typically have worse security features than newer vehicles, so criminals often break into these softer targets.

This also means that people who have less money are disproportionately targeted by thieves. The people who can’t afford to replace their valuables are the ones who are most likely to lose them in a car break-in. As such, anyone who drives an older vehicle should double-check where they’re parking before they leave their car overnight. Keep your doors locked and your valuables far from sight, and try to keep your car in a public place when you leave it in an unfamiliar area.