How to prevent car theft at a car wash

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Police in New York recently warned car owners not to leave their car unattended during car washes, after a few cars got stolen in broad daylight. Carwashpro collected a few tips to prevent automobile theft.

Car theft is huge in the USA. According to the Insurance Information Institute, nearly 2,000 cars get stolen each day. In a small country like The Netherlands, that number is ofcourse considerably lower: 16. Which translates to about 6,000 vehicles stolen a year. A much bigger counry like Germany sees about 10.000 car thefts a year.

Automobile theft is a crime of opportunity, and a car wash can provide thieves with just the opportunity they are looking for.

There are plenty of examples where cars were dropped off at the car wash by the owner and then got picked up by someone else. Someone with less good intentions.

Another scenario is theft during detailing or vacuuming. The owner is on one side of the car, hanging up the hose while the thief enters the car at the driver’s seat and takes off.  All this often happens in a matter of seconds.

A few tips to prevent theft at your car wash

– Make sure you and your employees have agreed on a certain procedure for every vehicle that enters your property. Most important: follow those procedures

  • Get the right security cameras and make sure they are visible.
  • Minimize the risk by checking the common hazards (don’t leave the vacuum area unattended, don’t leave the keys inside a car).
  • Minimize the people present in the tunnel or wash area
  • Always check the receipt when handing out a washed car
  • Identify weaknesses in the process and improve them
  • Make sure you have a direct link with law enforcement.

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Author: Rene Passet

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