Prevent GPS Theft

GPS theft is increasing at an alarming rate.  As more and more people buy portable vehicle GPS units, more and more thieves steal them.

When you become the victim of GPS theft, you lose the GPS and you usually have an expensive auto repair bill.  The thief usually breaks out your window or tears off your lock.  The car repair bill is higher than the cost of the GPS.  This does not count your loss of time settling with your insurance company and the time to leave your car for repairs. 

GPS Theft - Broken Window GPS Theft - Broken Lock

Here are a few tips to protect your GPS (and your car).  Yes, some are obvious but some are not.

  • Remove the GPS from the windshield and clean off the suction cup mark on the windshield (See more info below). This will prevent damage to your car.

  • Take your GPS with you (best option) or lock your GPS in your trunk. Do not put it under the seat or in the glove box or console inside the passenger area.  Thieves know where to look.

  • Remove your GPS mount and lock it in the trunk also.

  • Hide the power cord or any other accessories.

  • Use a micro-fiber cloth to wipe off the tell tale ring on your windshield left by the suction cup on the windshield mount. Thieves have learned the ring says “GPS Inside”.

  • Use a friction mount on top of your instrument panel, a cup holder mount, or an AC vent mount for your GPS. These do not leave the traces that the suction cup mount does. Keep your dashboard dust free so the friction mount location does not show in the dust.

  • Decide if you are going to PIN lock your GPS. If you do, the thieves may not be able to use it. However, some stolen GPS units are recovered and the owners are identified by the home address they have entered in the GPS. If it is PIN locked, the police cannot find your home address. Your decision.

  • If you choose to put your home address in the GPS without PIN locking it, remember that thieves can then find your home too.  If they steal your garage door opener and keys along with the GPS, you have invited them to steal the contents of your home.

  • Record the GPS serial number so you can identify it if it is recovered. Also, you can notify the GPS vendor so if someone tries to download the latest software from the Internet, the vendor can block the download and possible help locate it for police.

In summary, to prevent GPS theft, do not leave any evidence that a GPS has been in the car. Be especially careful to remove the suction cup ring from the windshield. Even if the thief does not get your GPS, the repair cost for the damage to your car will be substantial.