Re: Tips to avoid getting jacked
This post is regarding alarm systems and how to best protect your equipment from being stolen.
Here are some common features that are included with most decent quality alarm units:
Parking Light Flash
Headlight Flash (Low and Hi)
Hood and Trunk Pins0
Although those features will stop most timid thieves out there, they probably aren't going to stop veteran thieves, crack heads, and thieves with a lot of guts. So here are some ideas on how to go one step further in preventing these people from stealing our hard-earned belongings.
1) This is the major problem: A thief can simply bust out your driver's side window, reach in without opening the door, pop your hood, cut the battery cable, and now the car alarm is totally disabled. For a skilled thief this process would literally take about 15 seconds. There are two things I would recommend you do to prevent a thief from disabling your alarm in this manner. The most recommended method is for you to invent in a steel cable hood lock. The cable runs from under the dash of your car, through the firewall, and mounts itself underneath the hood. It is locked and unlocked using a key from the inside of the vehicle. Without this key, the hood cannot be popped open. This will prevent easy access to your battery. At this point the thief can either run away, try to grab and dash, or try to access the battery by crawling under the car. Although I highly doubt a thief would go through the trouble of crawling under your car to cut the battery cable, it has happened before. Mount your multi-tone siren next to the battery pointed downward. Mount a peizo siren next to it, also pointing downward. We want to make it very uncomfortable for our thief to stick his head under the car with those sirens blazing right in his ear.
If you aren't interested in the hood lock, the other method is to invest in a siren with an internal battery "backup system". This siren will continue to sound even after the battery has been cut and power has been disabled. The siren is disabled using a special key. A thief would have to take this siren and smash it on the ground in order to disable it. Because of this, I recommend you use more than one battery backup siren in your alarm system.
2) Most alarm installs are done by splicing into one of the vehicle's constant +12 volt wires either at the steering column or at the fuse box. I am pretty certain that a thief can smash the fuse box with a crowbar or baseball bat and destroy the vehicle's electrical fuses. Of course this would disable the alarm system without the thief even having to mess with the battery. To prevent a thief from using this method to disable your alarm system, I recommend that you run your own constant +12 volt and ground wire from the alarm's brain straight to the battery, and fuse the 12+ wire at both the brain and the battery. This way, if the fuse box gets smashed it won't affect the alarm at all.
3) At this point our thief is more than likely very frustrated. There's a chance he will now choose to get under the dash and snip some wires to disable the alarm. Any single bright colored or red wires are going to be targets. I recommend that you run all of your wires through black loom tubing so that they appear to be part of the vehicle's factory wiring. Wrap the loom in black electrical tape to prevent the thief from opening up the loom and looking inside. And use black plastic zip ties to mount the loom high up inside the dash. Mount a peizo siren under here pointed downward toward the floor. It will be extremely uncomfortable for a thief to have his head anywhere near this type of siren.
But you definitely do not want to mount the alarm's brain here under the dash. You want to hide the brain as best as possible. I recommend you mount the brain inside the dash, underneath your center consol if possible, or in the trunk. You could also mount it under one of the seats but a thief may check there.
4) I just want to mention the sirens once more. Most alarms come with a single multi-tone siren, around 115dB or so. I recommend you purchase one or two more multi-tone sirens and several 115dB peizo sirens and incorporate them into your alarm system. The louder the alarm is when it is tripped, the more attention is drawn to your vehicle and the more likely a thief is to give up and run away. Not to mention it will hurt a thief's ears if he goes anywhere near the peizos.
5) Let's talk about something I mentioned earlier, the good old grab and dash. Even with a security system of this caliber, that won't necessarily stop a thief from popping your trunk lid using the trunk latch inside of the vehicle, grabbing your subwoofer enclosure or amplifier, and running away with it. If possible you may want to remove your trunk latch. That way, you would have to use your key in order to open the trunk lid.
Another thing you could do is bolt your subwoofer enclosure or amplifier rack to the trunk floor. Use safety torx or another odd-shaped screw to do this. Chances are a thief won't have the correct tool to unbolt your equipment and will give up.
Also, you want to secure your headunit to your dash's frame so that it cannot be removed using those slide rail "keys". Use safety torx screws for this as well.
6) If you want to take your security system one step further, I recommend you incorporate a blue police beacon. This may be considered overkill by some, but it is very effective in preventing thieves from continuing with the robbery once the alarm is tripped and the police light is activated. Especially in a public area such as a parking lot or a residential neighborhood. People don't really tend to pay attention when they hear someone's car alarm go off in a parking lot, but everyone tends to take notice when they see those blue rotating police lights. It would draw a lot of attention to your vehicle, therefore causing the thief to flee. Of course, it would have to be mounted somewhere on the inside of the car.
7) Always check with your insurance provider to make sure your stereo equipment is covered in case of a robbery. If it is not covered under comprehensive, as them if you can take out a separate policy on your equipment. Make sure your insurance provider has receipts for all of your equipment and pictures as well. Often times when a thief realizes they are unable to steal your equipment they will destroy it in anger. If your insurance company refuses to cover your stereo equipment, I highly suggest you switch to a different provider who offers this.
8) Besides insurance, the most important thing is to not draw attention to your vehicle. Car audio stickers are a dead giveaway to a thief that the vehicle has something worth stealing inside of it. Vehicles with expensive rims, exterior modifications and body kits, alteza tail lights, racing decals and stripes, etc, are also targets for thieves. Always remove your faceplate before exiting your vehicle. Always lock your doors. Do not tell anyone that you do not trust 100% that you have an expensive audio system. Turn OFF your stereo about five minutes before you stop and park your car somewhere. Bumping your system in the mall parking lot as you look for a space to park may not seem like a big deal, but you have pretty much told every would-be thief in the area to "steal my stuff". Also, if you are in high school or college, NEVER turn on your system anywhere near campus. There are a lot of stupid kids out there who have no respect for other people's property. Be smart and protect yourself.
also known as... LivinLife
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