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Here are some things that thieves know and you should too. This helps in taking the appropriate measures to halt the methods they use. If most of these methods are used, thieves will usually skip your vehicle for an easier target.

Things Thieves know:

  1. Engine compartments can be opened with a pen or screwdriver. By simply sliding either a pen or a screwdriver in-between the grill and the hood the latch spring can be pushed back and release the hood. Take a look, you will be amazed at how easy it is.
  2. If an alarm is present, there is a 80% chance that the parking
    light output is not fused. Alarms now are starting to adapt to this, but most all previous alarm were not. With this knowledge, the thief will break or remove the cover to a parking light and short it out with a paperclip or screwdriver. They will then set the alarm off, but as soon as the alarm light tries to flash, it will blow the alarm and never make a sound.
  3. Most factory alarms are defeated by pulling the clearly marked
    starter kill, horn honk, and light flash relay. Then simply connecting a paperclip in the starter kill relay socket makes the car startable.
  4. Alarms and Valet switches are almost always under the dash.
  5. Steering wheel locking devices are easily defeated by either
    cutting the lock or the steering wheel and sliding the lock out. Or a car of freon can be used to free the lock assembly and then break it out.
Things You should know:

  1. Installation of pin switches and hood latch locks can take care of
    this problem.
  2. Fuse the parking light output, if it isn't already.
  3. Install pinswitches and possibly replace the factory alarm.
  4. When you or your installer installs the alarm, plan ahead and tell them you want the alarm and other related items remotely located either behind a rear panel or under the back seat. Most anywhere besides the dash is a good place. The thief will not be able to differentiate between the factory wiring and the alarm wiring when it is running across the floorboard into another part of the car.
  5. There are other methods that are better and cheaper than steering
Tip and Tricks for deterring a thief and making it impossible to take:

  1. Mount the Alarm parts in a remote location. Cost: $0.03 ft.
  2. Mount additional LED's in other locations. For the least cutting
    method, install LED's in your parking and taillights. This is a highly visible area and also leaves the car visibly untouched throughout the interior and exterior. Cost: $0.30 each
  3. Mount pin switches in any areas where they are not currently
    installed, for example the hood, tailgate and tailgate glass. The back window could be shattered and climbed through if necessary. When wiring the pinswitches in exposed areas, use a coaxial cable with a shield. Wire the inside conductor as you would a single wire, then wire the shield and second conductor to ground. Should this wire ever be cut the center conductor will be contacted to ground at some point therefore tripping the alarm. This is a very minor detail often overlooked. Cost: $0.50 each
  4. Glass Etching on all the glass of the vehicle will make a thief
    think twice. Cost: $25.00 will do every window
  5. Ghost switch as an additional starter kill means the thief has to
    bypass the alarm starter kill, if he can find it, then find the ghost switch. A ghost switch is a switch that when applied the car may then be started. This switch could be anything, turn signal switch, any of the window switches up or down, a power mirror switch, a hidden switch, etc. This will cost the thief a lot of frustration and fear that he has spent too much time. Cost: $1.00 - 3.00
  6. Battery back-up on the alarm. This is so the alarm still functions even if the battery is disconnected. Cost: $50.00
  7. Sensors should be installed, a variety of them also. For the
    highest level of security you should use a Dual-stage shock sensor, a glass breakage sensor, a proximity/radar sensor, and a motion sensor. If your alarm does not have enough sensor inputs, simply overlap the sensors into the same input. This is done by daisy chaining the sensors, like the door switches are. Cost: $20 - 40
  8. Piezo siren installed in the car gives an audible sound with the
    LED's flash. This lets people know it is not just a plug-in LED. This in conjunction with the multiple LED's tell everyone around your car that you mean business when it comes to your car. Cost: $5.00
  9. Battery Back-up siren in addition to the conventional siren. If
    power is cut from the siren for any reason the siren goes off. The only way to stop it is to urn it off with a key or connect power. If power is reconnected then the alarm and other siren goes off. Cost: $25.00
  10. Brake Locks, this one thieves will never suspect. When you leave
    your car simply turn the lock to this system and press the brake pedal. This will keep the car from being moved and towed. Works with ABS. Towing companies will give up and fear the liability claims for damage when this system is used. Cost: $118.96
  11. Stop Action with Anti-Carjacking. This is a great little device
    that I felt the need to alter for safety and cosmetic reasons. The Stop action is kind of like a ghost switch, but if the car is started and moved without the switch being activated the car will shut-down 10-30 seconds after it is moved. This helps with the insurance deductible because if a thief breaks into your car and fails to get it moved, this has to be claimed as "Vandalism", but if the car is actually moved in the process then it becomes "Stolen" and therefore saves you a deductible and your car is still nearby. The Anti-Carjacking function is activated by a floor mounted switch and then the car shuts-off 60-90 seconds down the road. The switch included in this kit is a big and obvious metal switch, which I feel can be replaced by a small and cheap switch that can be mounted in the very top of the drivers footrest. This is a very hidden and unnoticed spot. Cost: $107.39

Jared Burkardt
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