GPS devices are now the number one item being stolen from motor vehicles. Think storing your spanking new GPS in the glove compartment keeps you safe from smash-and-grab thieves? Think again: according to a recent study, GPS theft is on the rise, and crooks have learned that a suction-cup windshield mount usually means a valuable GPS hidden somewhere in the car.
What can you do to keep GPS-loving thieves at bay? Read on.
With the average price of a GPS falling somewhere between $180 and $1000, it's little surprise that GPS theft is on the rise. Even though many people may hide their GPS devices when they park their car, they usually don’t bother to take down the mount from the windshield or dash. That's good news for thieves, who are increasingly taking notice of GPS devices, given their small size and ease with which they can be re-sold on
eBay the black market. These are essentially high-end items that bring in quick cash.
Even taking the extra step of removing the windshield mount may not be sufficient, as the tell-tale mark of the suction cup on the windshield glass is enough to tip off would-be robbers.
From San Francisco to Boston, Australia to Britain, police are reporting a rise in theft of GPS devices. In Montgomery County, Maryland, there have been 620 portable navigation devices snatched from cars this year alone. There were only 189 total thefts in 2006 - that's a 328 percent increase in just 12 months. Already this year there have been 32 in my town (Roseville, CA) alone, compared to just 16 last year.
Some tips for avoiding your beloved GPS from being snatched:
There's nothing worse than the violation of a break-in and having your personal property stolen. The best thing you can do is keep all signs that you own a GPS out of sight when parking your car.