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December 2015
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How Safe Is Your Car When Left Alone?
Tips for Keeping Your Car Safe Before, During and After the Holiday Season

According to experts, an alarming $1billion+ in personal items and accessories are stolen EACH YEAR from vehicles in over 1-million thefts; and for every theft, experts estimate there are countless attempted break-ins too. That is a lot of money, loss and crime. Perkins motors wants you and your car to be safe in Colorado Springs.  An ounce of prevention may be just what you and your family needs to reduce your chances of having your car stolen or vandalized. Here are some easy tips and reminders that you may find useful.

Always lock your car’s doors, every single time you leave it.   – Seriously, we aren’t pandering to you – we know this is a no-brainer, but did you know that almost a quarter of vehicle thefts are from unlocked cars? This is according to law enforcement.   Even if you're running into the King Sooper’s for a loaf of bread and gallon of milk, that's too long to leave your vehicle unlocked. Simply locking the doors could deter those who might just be waiting around for an easy target; especially in a public place.

No Puffing! It is illegal!! During cold snaps like we had here in Colorado Springs in late November, it may be tempting to warm up your car by leaving it running with the keys in the ignition while you are away. This act is called puffing.  Our friends at KRDO-TV remind us that not only is it illegal - on public streets - it also makes you a target for car thieves.  Believe it or not, the term "puffing" was coined by car thieves who search snow-packed streets looking for exhaust puffing out of the tailpipes of empty cars. Puffing citations can also cost you more than $100 if a police officer sees you doing it. We know it is cold, but if you can avoid puffing, you will seriously reduce your car’s chances at being stolen or damaged by a crook!

Completely close windows and sunroofs! No this is not only to keep your car warm this season and no, it's not just because thieves might reach in through and open your locks with a coat hanger (which is a possibility). Open windows can disable the pressure sensor in some car alarms, leaving the vehicle more vulnerable to break-in and potentially giving thieves more time before the alarm sounds. If you have questions about if your car is susceptible to this, just give our service team a call and they can help you.  (855) 832-3022

Keep it clean, just like Mom always told you. Almost any worthless personal item that's visible from the outside such as a brown paper bag could be seen as a valuable or a carrier of valuables to a crook (at least it could make your car more tempting to break into). Try and keep NOTHING in your car that can be seen from a passerby. If you have an SUV that leaves your cargo area on display, consider getting a cover or using the one that comes with your model. Most vehicles can be fitted with inexpensive retractable covers to help keep your stuff out of sight. This way you won’t tempt a crook with that Terra Verde bag which only has gym clothes in it. If you keep your vehicle clean, it will reduce interest by crooks. Plus your car/truck/SUV will look better when picking up a friend for lunch!

Conceal all the e-evidence. Today most people have their mobile phone charger in the car. Often there are adaptors to kid’s e-books and games too. If this sounds like you and your family, it is wise to put those items in the glove box when you are not driving through town. The potential evidence of an iPod or iPhone alone might be enough to pique the interest of crooks to break into your car. If you hide your e-life from criminals, they are more likely to pass on your car.

Put it ALL away! Tis the season for buying gifts and returning gifts. Chances are between November through January you are going to be at a store buying or exchanging presents, so it is smart  to get in the habit of putting shopping bags in the trunk right when you return to the vehicle, rather than after you park at the next place. You never know, a criminal could be watching you move bags around and then could target your car when you go into a new store.

Make sure you have one - or go get an alarm. If you don't have an alarm system, get one. The noise alone may be enough to scare away an inexperienced thief. If you aren’t sure if you have a working alarm system, just give us a call and we can help.  

Get some physical proof of your desire to keep your car safe. As you probably know, a significant portion of vehicles are broken into because the crook wants to STEAL your car (not just sift through it), so utilizing a few ‘visuals’ that are simple…such as  steering wheel locks (famously known as The Club), steering column collars, or brake pedal locks may discourage the would-be car thief from breaking into your vehicle. They are looking for low hanging fruit, as the saying goes, so if you have a ‘club’ or something similar it goes without saying you have reduced your chances at a break-in compared to the car next to you that doesn’t.

Cars are expensive. Cars are our lifeline to ‘getting things done’. So let’s keep them safe. A safe car keeps more criminals away and therefore makes our lovely city an even better place to live – Crystal Johnston, Perkins Motors Director of Marketing.

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