Understanding and Preventing Car Crime

Understanding the factors and conditions that lead to car crimes, such as theft and vandalism, is critical to preventing them from occurring.

LotGuard, the USA's leading supplier of mobile surveillance cameras for parking lot environments, presents a comprehensive guide to car crime that will help you address and prevent the crimes affecting your business.

What is Car Crime?

Car crime is a blanket term covering several car-related crimes: vehicle theft, property theft from inside or outside a vehicle, and vandalism.

Unlike other crimes that can occur in a retail or business environment, such as shoplifting and burglary, car crimes directly impact your guests or customers.

These, in turn, can create a negative experience that discourages customers from utilizing your parking lot or business due to the threat of crime.

What Are Some Common Car Crimes?

Parking lots are the third most common place where crimes occur in the USA, with over 2 million crimes every year.

The most common car-related crimes that occur are:

A vehicle parked in a parking lot is nearly twice as likely to be stolen than a vehicle parked at the owner's property. 

For a detailed overview of common parking lot crimes, click the link below.

Common Parking Lot Crimes

Understanding and Preventing Car Crime - LotGuard USA

What are the Key Characteristics of Car Crime?

As mentioned at the outset, the best way to prevent crime is by understanding the conditions that allow for these crimes to occur. 

Below, we explore the who, where, and when of car crimes.

1. Who Commits Car Crimes?

Car crime is committed by both organized and opportunist criminals.

Organized criminals are looking for high-value resale items, whether the vehicle itself, parts such as catalytic converters, or goods from the car such as electronic devices (laptops/phones, etc.).

Catalytic convertor values are currently at an all-time high, attracting the interest of hardened criminal groups who can remove upwards of 100 units in less than an hour. 

Opportunist thieves are less coordinated. They strike because a vehicle has been left unlocked or commit random acts of destruction such as vandalism.

2. Where Do Car Crimes Occur?

The location of a parked vehicle directly correlates to its crime risk.

The layout and design of parking lots create several opportunities for criminals, such as:

According to the National Institute of Justice, the following locations are the most prone to vehicle crime:

3. When Do Car Crimes Occur?

The times of day, week, and year when car crimes occur follow a similar trend to burglaries.

It is unlikely a criminal will strike at your parking lots in broad daylight or when your parking facility is busy.

Crimes typically occur under cover of darkness or when cars are left unattended for extended periods - such as in the evening or at weekends. 

Typically, seasonality plays a role, though experts are split on the logic.

Some studies indicate that criminals are more active in the summer months when it is warmer, with others highlighting winter months are their long periods of darkness as the time when criminals choose to strike.

LotGuard - Mobile Video Surveillance Trailer

How Can Car Crimes be Prevented?

At LotGuard, we specialize in providing mobile video surveillance cameras that have been specifically optimized for deployment in parking lot environments. 

The results our LotGuard units deliver for our client base confirm our belief that surveillance cameras are the most effective way of preventing car crime, mainly when the cameras are backed by live video monitoring and proactive response. 

There are several other steps you can take to enhance the security profile of your lots. below, we have highlighted some of the key crime prevention methods that you can utilize depending on the type of lot you manage, and it's the layout:

Below you can download our free guide on recognizing and responding to car crimes.

Guide: Recognizing and Responding to Car Crimes

What is LotGuard?

LotGuard is the USA's leading supplier and specialist manufacturer of mobile surveillance cameras that help reduce crimes such as vandalism and theft and keep your employees and guests safe. 

LotGuard units can operate without onsite power, internet connectivity, and/or mounting poles- they are fully autonomous and completely mobile.

A LotGuard can be provided customized security camera profiles to meet your requirements. This includes IR PTZ cameras, thermal cameras, license plate recognition cameras (LPR), and four-way multisensor cameras.

Every LotGuard camera can deliver live and recorded footage through 4G LTE technology.

We can back every unit with a managed service, including live video monitoring and response, including alarms, live audio challenge, and law enforcement despatch.

Ready to learn more about how WCCTV can protect your parking lots? Call our team today on 877 805-9475 or email

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