The data is in, and it turns out that SUVs were the top Canadian target for auto theft last year. This is a real bummer because most SUV owners are family units who depend upon the vehicle for essential household duties. That, and soccer practice pickup.
While there are tried and true best practice for auto theft prevention (view here) there are vulnerabilities to SUVs that require added attention. If your household has an SUV in the driveway, and wants to keep it there (and keep its contents safe) follow these directions below.
3 Practical Tips to Reducing the Risk of SUV Break-ins and Theft
Secure Your SUV FOB
IBC reports that it’s SUVs that use FOBs that get stolen more than any other vehicle. The very thing that makes your vehicle more accessible when hopping in and out of with the kids and bags in tow, is the same thing that makes it more accessible to advanced criminals. They are using wireless transmitter devices to capture the signal between a FOB and its vehicle. The criminal then uses that digital footprint to unlock and steal the automobile and/or its contents. Proximity is the key to the compromise of keyless entry. If you park and leave your FOB unprotected and in close proximity to the SUV you are at risk. Thieves armed with transmitters can simply lasso the signal, open the door, and drive away with your vehicle!
To keep this from happening, keep keyless FOBs away from doors, windows, or walls located close to where you park. In addition, place your FOB in a protective signal-blocking pouch or receptacle. It may seem excessive to have to do this, but times have changed folks. For added peace of mind, please read our guide to FOB based auto theft prevention.
It’s easy for an auto thief to jimmy their way into an SUV because there is more coverage from the vehicle itself. They don’t need to suspiciously crouch down to use a slim jim to pick the lock when blocked by the towering roof of a Toyota Highlander. For this reason you want to be especially mindful of where you park. The good news is that there are some very practical steps that you can take with respect to parking which will mitigate the risk. For one, park in a corner spot for greater visibility from three different angles, and park in the most well lit area possible, even during the day (away from shade). View our guide on how to avoid common parking pitfalls. In addition, since your home (i.e. condo) or office may only have underground parking you will want to reference this guide to smarter parking in underground lots.
Don’t Use Your SUV for Storage
For some households an SUV is practically storage. Why bother removing the kids’ sports equipment when you have to chauffeur them to the park, track, or field again next weekend, right? People also leave shopping bags full of non-perishables (and some valuables) in the back when they don’t have the hands available to carry it all into the home. Suitcases and backpacks from recently completed trips and other odds and ends stay in the back for longer than they should. This may be fine when parked at home in a secure garage, but not when you’re parked outside of Costco. It’s time to break this habit of relying upon your SUV as short term (and long term) storage. Leaving anything, be it expensive hockey gear or a bag of clothes for the donation bin, is an open invitation for criminals to pull off a smash-and-grab. SUVs have larger rear windows than sedans and crossovers, so it’s essentially a display case of your possessions. Remove all enticing items from the back.
Of course, you do need to keep some things in the hatch throughout the day. You’re running from school drop-off to the office, then to a client meeting, then right back to school for pickup before taking everyone out to the movies, etc. You won’t always have time to drop everything off at home. New SUVs come with rollovers covers to hide and secure the contents in the rear. Be sure to use it.