Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tips for Avoiding GPS Theft

stolen GPS broken window car

With summer finally here, I’m sure quite a few of you are in the midst of planning out the perfect summer vacation and getaway. Which, of course, is going to mean using your car’s GPS to find your way around. However, I am sure that I don’t need to tell any of you that GPS devices are STILL one of the most frequently stolen objects from vehicles.

So while you’re out and about this summer, here are some tips to ensure that you don’t end up having to replace your beloved unit and your window:

1. Secure your car – Even if you don’t have a GPS, you ought to be locking your car and rolling up the windows most of the way, so this probably goes without saying.

2. Don’t leave GPS out – Leaving any valuables out in the open is just an invitation for thieves to smash and grab. So, I highly recommend stowing not only your GPS device, but any other valuables out of sight. This is pretty common sense, but with how many devices I’ve seen out in the open in parking lots, it still bears mentioning.

3. Take the GPS with you if you can – Heat is bad for electronics and some auto GPS devices have pedestrian modes, so instead of leaving it in your vehicle, get one that’s actually going to be useful out of the car and skip stuffing it in your glove box.

4. Remove the mount and cords from view – Don’t leave the mount, cords or any evidence you have a GPS visible. If you use a suction cup mount, be sure to wipe the windshield to remove the telltale suction cup marks.

5. Write down the serial number – As soon as you get your device, write down the model and serial number somewhere just in case. Some companies also have an online registration and do this automatically.

6. Don’t program your address – A lot of GPS devices have a ‘home’ address. Instead of programming your home address which could be used by thieves should the worst happen, program a familiar intersection or a nearby business.

I’ve seen several studies that show that vehicles with more security systems tend to be broken into less, so that is also something to think about if you’re concerned about your car.

What do you do with your GPS when you’re not using it? Have you ever had a device stolen? Tell me in the comments!

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