I park my car in front of my yard because there's room for only 1 car in my driveway and my dad parks there. My street is a small, quiet one but still kids tend to steal things from the cars here. The car is always locked but there are some things I can't lock inside. I've had a blinker cover stolen and my dad (who used to park where I do now) had his antenna and even horn stolen on separate occasions. Yesterday someone stole one of my custom tire-valve caps and I'm really beginning to get annoyed.

I thought about placing a fake camera on the front of my house and/or a light that turns on when people pass by but there's too much distance (15 feet) between my yard fence (where the car is) and my house so I don't think it will be effective.

I'm sure it wouldn't take a lot to stop this from happening but I'm just not sure how to approach the problem.

  • are they stealing only during the night? – vladiz Nov 24 '15 at 22:08
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    Personally, I would set up a real camera, and get the footage. Footage of a crime speaks louder than words to authorities. I've had the gas cap stolen before (?!?) but that's it :) – J. Musser Nov 27 '15 at 22:22
  • Widen the driveway and park inside. – RedSonja Dec 3 '15 at 13:22

11 Answers 11

You can choose one of these:

  • light with sensor which swithces on when somebody comes near the car
  • fake camera with a sign near the car
  • real camera with a sign near the car (in my country if there is no sign then video recording can't be used in the court)
  • Bad dog in your yard which will frighten the offenders (not really bad just one which is making alot of noise when someone approaches the car)

It will be good if you can put a pylon near the car and attach the camera or light on it to be close to the car.

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    Do note that in some countries there are strict regulations regarding cameras and public areas. Regulations might also apply regarding extra light near or on public roads – holroy Nov 25 '15 at 9:17
  • I like the dog idea! #AnimalLover – J. Musser Nov 27 '15 at 22:22
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    "put a pylon near the car" my bet is they'll just steal the pylon . O.o – Ditto Dec 23 '15 at 17:48
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    @Ditto Then you'll need additional pylons. – IQAndreas May 23 '16 at 19:21

Simply park in the garage if you can. I cannot, simply put up a fake camera and a working blinking light to scare away the kids. This is a crime, not something you can simply rage about. Contact the police and tell them about the string or robberies and they might check on your car on their daily patrols. Even better, install a real camera and catch them red-handed.

  • Do note that in some countries there are strict regulations regarding cameras and public areas. Regulations might also apply regarding extra light near or on public roads – holroy Nov 25 '15 at 9:18

Given people are stealing parts off the cars, rather than stuff from inside, the only things that are likely to work are either moving to a better neighborhood, or finding a way to park the car elsewhere or inside a locked/secure shelter. My own solution, for many years, was to drive a very plain, old car that's no temptation, but I realize many people won't find that acceptable.

Improved street lighting
http://www.crim.cam.ac.uk/people/academic_research/david_farrington/lightsw.pdf

It's a fairly well known effect that improving the street lighting reduces crime quite significantly. If you can't get your local council (or equivalent other) to improve the lighting quality in your area, try putting up motion sensitive lights outside your house that include the parking area. Encourage your neighbours to do the same and you'll end up with the whole street lighting up every time someone moves around at night.

If it's happening to you, it's probably happening to your neighbours too. Perhaps you could talk with your neighbours about sharing the burden of doing occasional patrols of the street looking out for people up to mischief and just generally looking out for each other. If you can put signs up and inform people that you are doing this it may make kids think twice or go elsewhere.

Get a car cover and cover your car nightly. Whatever you can do to make access difficult will deter crime. As others said, motion sensor lights are good, and you can even get cameras that will record when there is motion and you can set them up to send you a text message to your phone.

Put a security camera or 2 on the car.

Put up a sign that says "Security cameras in use."

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    Or only put up a sign without installing cameras. – Alex Nov 24 '15 at 14:13

One way is by removing the steering wheel and keeping it under the seat or somewhere out of sight. Should discourage potential car thieves. Or you could put a sticker which says "Govt of...." so it seems like a VIP's car.

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    Neither of those would stop people stealing from the car, which is what the OP asked. – Chenmunka Dec 23 '15 at 15:27
  • Ah, didn't see the second from – Aman Thakkar Dec 23 '15 at 15:36
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    What kind of car do you have that the steering wheel is removable?! (or would even fit under the seat or somewhere "out of sight") – Michael Feb 23 '16 at 18:56

Put a motion sensor and have it trigger the car alarm. This should deter anyone who is attempting to steal from your car. Also, it might be a good idea to not have anything "custom" or special on the car. A motion capture camera (like a game camera) would be good. But then the question arises, how to secure that without it being stolen?.....

A motion sensor connected to a recording of a large dog barking. Especially if you can hide some decent sized speakers near or under the car, and play it through that.

Get an Electric Fence Energizer (aka charger) that uses the 12V of the car's battery. Or you can get a solar-powered one.
Either wire the car so that the chassis is hot and a wire somehow connected to the real ground is neutral, or affix alternating exposed wires on an insulator at likely points the thief would touch. Anyway, you need to work out the details but electrify your car.
I might do it myself.
A setup like this is easily circumvented, but the initial shock would make the thieves change their minds.

  • Depending on where you are this is pretty seriously illegal. – RedSonja Aug 31 at 8:50

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