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Auto Theft
 For more information on auto theft prevention tips visit the Arizona Auto Theft Authority website at

Want to check if a vehicle has been stolen?
Visit the Arizona Attorney General's Office TheftAZ website at 

The "Layered Approach" to Auto Theft Prevention
Professional thieves can steal any car, but make them work for yours. To prevent thefts, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends "Layered Protection." The more layers of protection on your vehicle, the more difficult it is to steal.

The number of layers your vehicle needs varies depending on your vehicle and geographic location. Your budget and personal preferences should determine which anti-theft device is best for you.

Layer #1 -- Common Sense
An unlocked vehicle with a key in the ignition is an open invitation to any thief, regardless of which anti-theft device you use. The common sense approach to protection is the simplest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. 
  • Lock your car - half of all vehicles stolen are left unlocked 
  • Take your keys - nearly 20% of all vehicles stolen have the keys in them 
  • Park in well-lit areas - car thefts occur at night more than half the time 
  • Park in attended lots - car thieves do not like witnesses 
  • Do not leave your vehicle running and unattended 
  • Completely close your car windows 
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view 
  • Do not hide a spare set of keys in the car - the pros know where to look 
  • Park with your wheels turned toward the curb 
  • Always use your emergency brake when parking 
  • If you have a garage, use it - when you do, lock both the vehicle and the garage door

Layer #2 -- Warning Device
The second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected.

Popular second layer devices include: 
  • Audible alarms 
  • Steering wheel locks 
  • Steering column locks 
  • Brake locks 
  • Tire locks 
  • Watch Your Car decals 
  • Identification markers in or on vehicle 
  • Protective Window Laminate 
  • Microdots applied to various surfaces on vehicle, which are imprinted with identification information 
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching on vehicle windows

Layer #3 -- Immobilizing Device
This third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated.

Popular third layer devices include:  
  • Smart keys 
  • High security locks & keys 
  • Fuse cut-offs 
  • Kill switches 
  • Starter, ignition and fuel disablers

Layer #4 -- Tracking Device
The final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to a police or monitoring station when the vehicle is reported stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.

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