Protecting Your Rig From Theft: 6 Need-to-Know Tips From GRID Off-Road
Rugged and off-road rigs draw a lot of attention, and rightfully so. They look cool, are beasts and turn heads wherever they go. They also tend to have expensive mods and parts and can be easier to access without a key, making them attractive targets for thieves.
You need to take extra precautions to keep your truck, Jeep or SUV rig safe. Here are five need-to-know tips about protecting your rig from theft.
More than 700,000 car, truck and vehicle thefts occur every year, and the main reason is that people simply fail to lock them or leave their keys inside. You can avoid these mistakes by writing a common-sense checklist and keeping it in your rig. Your list might look something like this:
- Close the windows
- Activate the emergency brake
- Turn off the car’s Bluetooth and W-Fi features, if applicable
- Turn off the vehicle
- Grab your phone, wallet and other essential belongings
- Exit the car and lock the vehicle
- Test the door handles to make sure every entrance is locked.
You might assume you can remember these simple steps, but a thief only needs you to make a mistake one time. Eliminate that possibility with a common-sense checklist.
2. Add Theft Protection Devices
You can also install various theft protection devices to help keep your rig safe. Some are inexpensive tools that prevent the rig from moving:
- Steering wheel lock: Prevents the steering wheel from moving more than a few inches
- Brake and clutch lock: Keeps the desired pedal locked in place
- Wheel clamp: Attaches to your GRID wheels to prevent the tire from spinning
These devices will stop most thieves in their tracks, but well-equipped carjackers have the tools to remove them. Plus, clamps might not fit on an old rig’s wheels. If you want to use this tool, consider investing in strong and light forged GF wheels from GRID, which can handle anything you throw at them. You can also take your vehicle’s security even further with these electronic devices:
- Aftermarket alarm system: You can install an aftermarket system if your older rig does not have a built-in alarm.
- Immobilizers: Fuse cutoffs, kill switches and ignition disablers prevent the vehicle from starting until a hidden button is activated.
- GPS tracker: This hidden device allows you to track your rig’s location if it gets stolen.
Some rigs also come with additional security features like four-digit access codes. Consider yourself lucky you have another line of defense if your rig has one of these features.
Mind Where You Park
Rig owners are often selective with their public parking spaces to avoid getting dents and scratches, but this habit can also ward off thieves. Here are some places you should avoid:
- Parking lots with poor lighting
- High-crime areas
- Thin alleyways
- Streets with little traffic
Most responsible rig owners can tell if a parking space is sketchy right away. Listen to that intuition and find another spot. Try to park in areas with solid lighting and constant activity. If a parking garage is available for a reasonable price, take advantage of its guards and cameras.
You might also invest in a rig cover to hide your vehicle in plain sight. With the exterior hidden from view, it looks like any other truck, Jeep or SUV. It also acts as another frustrating obstacle for thieves to get through.
4. Keep Your Rig Clean
You should maintain your rig’s cleanliness — both inside and out — to discourage thieves from trying their luck. Wash the exterior and keep the interior organized. A tidy vehicle tells thieves you might have it under surveillance. It also suggests that it might have hidden security features inside.
A spotless exterior also makes it easier to spot a crucial piece of evidence: fingerprints. If someone tries to break into your freshly cleaned vehicle, you might find their prints and report your findings to the police.
5. Hide Your Valuables
Sometimes car thefts occur because thieves walk by a vehicle and see valuables inside. They had no prior intention of stealing the rig, but the inner contents caught their attention. You can make your rig less of a target by hiding your valuables in unlikely places like inside the fuse box or under the backseat.
Better yet, remove all valuables from your car and leave nothing to chance. Keep only the essentials — owner’s manual, car registration, roadside assistance info — and take everything else out of the picture. If a thief manages to get inside, they’ll realize you have nothing they want and might give up before causing further damage.
6. Step up Your Security Efforts
None of us can entirely rely on a built-in security system, let alone rigowners. You need to step up your security efforts to keep your prized possession safe. Humble yourself and write that common-sense checklist. Invest in more security measures, including simple tasks like parking and cleaning. These tips will protect your rig from theft and ensure it stays in your hands for the foreseeable future.