If you are a car owner, then you will agree with me that car theft is one social vice which ought to be controlled totally. Can it be wiped out entirely? I guess not. Can we individually do something to prevent our cars from being stolen? Yes. So for every car that is stolen, there are always some precautionary measures we can take to prevent it.

CarTact app has been developed as a social interaction tool to tackle car theft and other issues associated with road use. So, it is time we get acquainted with how you can keep your car safe and protect it from car thieves.

CAR THEFT STATISTICS IN NIGERIA
Car theft rate varies in different countries of the world. Data from National Bureau of Statistics reveals that 2,544 cars were stolen between 2013 and 2015. The number is not very important, since most crimes are grossly under reported in Nigeria. What is really important here is the recovery rate. Out of this number, only 1,377 were recovered. That translates to about half the number.

What this means is if your car goes missing, you only have 50% chance of it being recovered. That shouldn’t scare you because I am about to give you tips to increase that rate to above 90%.

TACKLING CAR THEFT WITH CARTACT MOBILE APP

Motor vehicle theft and social issues about car & road use were what CarTact was developed to tackle. The app features as highlighted in ‘CarTact app: social car tracking and personal security app’ can help you beat theft if you do the following:

 Register your Vehicle Number Plate and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)/Chassis number with the app. Of course you will need to download the mobile app from Playstore through this link before you proceed.

Then you register both numbers for better protection. Remember that number plate can easily be changed, but VIN cannot. Everyone knows about the number plate and its locations, but not everyone knows about VIN. VIN is located at 4 areas in a car. Driver’s side interior dashboard, driver’s side door jam (inside), front of engine block under hood and front end of frame (for older cars).

 Let security personnel at a car park notify you when your attention is needed: Whenever you park your car at a public place, tell the people around that you can be notified through the app when needed. For most cases of car theft, eye witnesses reported noticing suspicious acts, but didn’t know if they were the owners. In this type of situation you can be notified, and your instant response can make all the difference. With CarTact app you can call back instantly. Making life easier.

 Have your friends and family members to also register your cars and vice versa. The more, the merrier. If you have more people to receive any notification sent to you, then the less likely you are to miss it. When it comes to preventing theft every second counts. So, the faster you respond the better, and with family and friends on board, you won’t miss a thing.

 Use app frequently to report any misnomer on the road. The concept of this app was built on community policing and social interaction amongst road users. So feel free to send notifications and reports. You can help someone recover their car by sending notification to the number plate of the abandoned car near you. It may have been stolen for the purpose of robbery and dumped afterwards. Report assault, robbery, hit and run and any other road crimes.

 Use the ‘verify icon’ to verify any Nigerian used car or used car from any country before buying. Verify both the vehicle number plate and the VIN. It could be a stolen car you know, and I am sure you don’t want police trouble.

 Share app with your friends. Share our download link. Tell your friends about the app. There’s no better way to safeguard the community with this app than to let friends and family know. It doesn’t matter if you have a car or not, there’s always a role for everyone. The app is also very beneficial to every road user, and not just car owners.

If your car have been stolen, then not to worry, because you can recover it using the app with these steps:
 Open the mobile app.
 Go to the report icon.
 Select your report option, type your number plate and click send.
 Repeat last step for your VIN.

These steps will tag your number plate and VIN as stolen. This can be verified at security check point easily and at the sales point (car dealer’s shop). So having two extra levels of security when your car is stolen makes it even better.

Using CarTact app comes at no cost. It is a free app so as to encourage everyone to use it.

On the long term community/social car tracking which our app offers will prevent car theft more than any other method. The reason behind this is simple. The thief can change the car number plate and the car colour, but cannot change the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Now that you have learnt how to use CarTact app to prevent car theft, let us look at other precautions you should take.

1. Don’t park your car in an isolated place. Make sure there’s a security presence or at least people’s presence where ever you park.

2. Use manual lock when not sure of the area. Some car thieves come with devices that can intercept your car’s automatic lock signals. So it’s safer when you lock with your car key rather than the remote in some ‘unsafe’ public car parks.

3. Keep every bag and valuables out of sight as this can attract attention.

4. Use pedal, steering or gear lock. This may be old, but still works.

5. Be a little sociable to the security guards or people around where you parked. Just exchange of greetings or telling any nearby person that you parked that car will get their attention to your car. You can go as far as giving out tips especially if it is late at night.
All these tips will surely keep your car safe at all times.

Download CarTact app here, and don’t forget to share with your friends and family.

Look forward to our next article which will be on how to prevent one chance (passenger fraud) using CarTact app.

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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