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Of course, the best way to deal with auto theft is to avoid it. Use the following tips to help you prevent car theft.

Lock your doors and take the keys. A quick run into the store can be all the time a thief needs to steal your vehicle. Even warming your unlocked car in front of your home in the winter can be an invitation. Use extra precaution and always lock your vehicle and keep the keys with you.

Pay attention to parking. Take a good look around you and make sure you’re in a well-lit area that has a lot of foot traffic so your vehicle is not an appealing target. Paying a couple dollars more to park in a secure parking ramp versus a dark street may be worth it in the long run.

Hide your valuables. Leaving your purse, wallet, CDs, iPod, and other valuable items out in the open might be all the encouragement a passing thief needs. Locking items in the trunk and glovebox is a good way to keep them at hand but not in sight. If you don’t have a trunk, even a blanket draped over your purse can be a deterrent.

Anti-theft devices work. Whether you’re relying on the good, old-fashioned steering wheel club or a more tech-savvy approach, just having one makes your vehicle less attractive to thieves.

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