Cases of people stealing ATVs are rising every day. Some ATV owners do not give security the attention it deserves. Instead, they perceive security measures as being too expensive. Also, others think it is time-consuming and hence, a waste of time and resources.
But, ensuring your vehicle is safe from theft is essential. It will prevent you from incurring a loss when someone steals your bike. It will also enable you to have peace of mind knowing that no one will take your ATV away from you.
You need to have proper tools to prevent theft. These tools include a sensor, an alarm, and the right tire to prevent anyone from stealing your ATV. You also need to check the status of your ATV to see if it has a serial number. The serial number helps in tracking your ATV when it gets stolen.
This article will discuss how to check for your stolen ATV and measures for anti-theft.
What happens if my ATV is stolen?
If your ATV is stolen, you need to find a way of tracking it down. There are several ways in which you can do this. The following are some ways of finding your stolen or lost ATV.
Report to the authorities
The first thing you need to do is report the theft or disappearance of your ATV. Remember, time is not on your side when it comes to recovering stolen property. The police will be able to use their resources in the search and identify the thief. In most cases, the police play a vital role in recovering stolen ATVs.
Post Lost/Stolen Ads on the Internet
Several websites such as Craigslist, Gumtree, or eBay can post a message if your ATV gets stolen. It will help other people who might have come across someone trying to sell it at a lower price. Posting a stolen Ad on the internet can help you find your ATV sooner since many people use the internet.
Track the Vehicle with GPS Tracking Device
GPS tracking devices are costly, but they effectively locate your vehicle, especially if you want to track down a stolen one. The device comes with real-time updates and highly accurate maps, making it easier for law enforcement agencies or private investigators to track down the vehicle.
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Inform your insurance company
If your ATV is insured, you can ask your insurer for help, and they might send a private investigator to recover it on their behalf. If they recover the ATV, your insurance provider will make sure that the location is not tampered with in any way. Therefore, the police can use the scene to find evidence that will lead to the arrest of the thief who stole your vehicle.
Check the ATV’s serial number
The next step in trying to find your stolen or lost ATV is checking its serial number. Every ATV has a unique identifier that you can use in recovering it. However, most people don’t know where to look for an ID. It is best to check with local authorities whether or not your ATV was reported as stolen. That way, they can help recover your ride and return it before any damage has been done to it by the thief.
Collect the footage from nearby CCTV cameras
The next thing to do is collect the footage from any nearby CCTVs. Finding your ATV and its thief will be easy if you have a camera that can sweep an area for movement. The thief might not know about the hidden camera, or they may not be aware of their surroundings when stealing your ATV. Either way, the camera will catch them in action and provide investigators with footage to help their investigation.
Search your property
You need to check every possible location where you might have left your ATV or accessible by anyone who wants to steal it. If someone has stolen it from inside your garage, they might have moved it to another location. You need to check all the spots where you think your ATV could be before calling it a day and giving up for good.
Seek the services of Private Investigators
Private investigators are highly trained in recovering ATVs since they are at high risk because of their power and speed. They might not be cheap, but they are worth every cent you spend on them because of the detailed research into verifying clues, identifying suspects, and recovering your ATV in good condition.
Check if an ATV is Stolen Before you Buy
You need to check and be sure that the ATV you want to buy is not stolen property. If you purchase an ATV which is stolen, there are chances that it might get tracked down to your house, and the authorities will come knocking on your door. The law is clear on this, and you will be in deep trouble if you are caught with a stolen vehicle. So how will you determine if the ATV is stolen before purchasing it? The following points will be of great help.
Check the VIN of the ATV
ATV VIN is the most important thing to look for when buying a new vehicle. The VIN can be found on the frame of your ATV, or you might find it inside the engine compartment, just below where the steering bar is attached to the chassis. If someone has tampered with this number in any way, there are chances that you’re looking at stolen property, and it’s best to walk away from the deal. If you notice anything strange about the number, there are good chances that the ATV is stolen. It is best not to buy an ATV that has any VIN issues.
Search the ATV in the National Crime Information Center Database
The next thing to do when determining if an ATV is stolen or not is to check its status on the NCIC database. The database belongs to all law enforcement agencies, and it’s updated regularly with information about recently reported thefts of vehicles and other goods, which are of great value. You can do this by checking with the local police or even calling them up for information about your ATV before buying it.
Check the ATV Title
You also need to check the title of your ATV. An ATV that does not have a title with it is most likely to be stolen. The title will have the name of the owner in clear view and if you see anything suspicious or notice that someone has tampered with it, walk away from the deal immediately.
Also, the ATV owner needs to sign on it, and the signature should match that of the seller. That way, you can ensure that no one else has signed this important document before buying your new vehicle. If there are any changes made after someone else signs off on it, then it’s likely that the ATV is stolen.
Compare the ATV price to its value
It is best to compare the price of your new vehicle with its market value. If there is a massive discount offered on it and it seems too good, then the chances are that your ATV might be stolen. The market value will always reflect the actual worth of an ATV, which can go up or down. It depends on factors like the location and mileage of the vehicle.
Ask for a Proof Of Ownership
The seller must provide you with proof that he is the actual owner or at least has the right to sell it in your name. You can ask for this by showing him an official identity document that gives his full name, address, and date of birth, along with a photo. If he cannot provide you with this, walk away from the deal and report it as soon as possible. The chances are that the ATV might be stolen.
Here are the Measures of Anti Theft for ATV You Can Follow –
- Lock and Remove the ATV Keys
When you are done with your ATV ride for the day, make sure that every door is locked. It includes the driver’s seat and the passenger compartment. If your ATV has no keyless entry system, then make sure that you take it wherever you go. Leaving it unattended is never a good idea and might result in someone stealing your vehicle if they find an opportunity to do so without being noticed by anyone else. If there are any signs of tampering on the locks, do not hesitate to contact your local authorities and report it immediately.
- Use an alarm system
An ATV with a robust security system is less likely to be stolen than one without. Thieves will find it difficult to break into a high-tech system, which makes noise as well. Several types of alarms are available in the market, and most ATV owners prefer to install them. However, they also need to be checked and serviced regularly by an expert mechanic whenever you plan on installing a new one in your vehicle because malfunctioning alarm systems might end up attracting thieves instead of scaring them away from the scene.
- Install Digital Keys.
Manufacturers have begun making ATVs that have digital keys. The keys have a unique code that matches the bike. The thief needs access to the key to be successful in stealing the vehicle. Thus, making it difficult for the thief to get away with the ATV.
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- Do not park on the street or in front of your house.
Parking is another great tip to remember to prevent theft. It does not require much money at hand. It is best to keep the safe vehicle daily by parking it inside your garage and never on the street. Thieves usually stay around looking for vehicles that are parked in driveways. If yours is found, then there will be a higher chance of them trying to steal it. They know that you cannot see what exactly they are up to from inside your home.
- Use a Steering Wheel Lock.
You can use different types of ATV locks. But having a steering wheel lock for your ATV keeps you a step ahead. Some ATVs come with steering wheel locks while others don’t. Thus, you can only use it if you have it.
The lock turns the wheels in one direction, making it difficult to drive off. Even though some thieves can break through the lock, it will take time.
Thus, the steering wheel lock makes it difficult. Yet, the thieves want to steal within a short period.
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- Place a GPS Tracker inside the ATV
If you have installed an alarm system in your vehicle, there is another excellent way to secure it from thieves. Place a GPS tracker on your vehicle to allow law enforcement agencies or security companies to track it down. Through the GPS tracker, they can see where the ATV has been taken to recover it quickly. The GPS trackers are affordable and do not require much maintenance. You should consider using one if your budget allows for such a device.
- Use a Padlock that has an Alarm.
Some ATVs come with disk brakes. If yours does, you have access to the best steel padlock to lock on the brake holes. It makes it impossible for the wheels to turn.
Alternatively, you can use a caliper lock to secure the ATV. But, ensure that whichever you choose comes with a reminder on the lock. The lock reminder ensures you secure the bike before you leave it without forgetting.
Also, to enhance security, get a padlock with a siren that alerts you if it detects movements. It deters thieves from stealing your bike due to the attention it attracts. It also prevents people from sitting idly around your bike without your permission. The siren will send an alert then go off if it detects motion around the bike.
- Always park near other cars.
Make sure that you park your ATV as close to other cars as possible. Thieves usually do not like mingling with too much attention. If they see a large group of vehicles parked together, this will make them think twice about stealing yours because it can be easily seen from the outside since everyone else’s vehicle is also in plain sight.
- Use an Anchor
Anchoring makes it difficult for anyone to roll or lift the vehicle away. It would be best to install a wall or ground anchoring to secure your ATV while in the garage. You can have the anchor on the wall or floor of the place you park your vehicle.
Also, anchoring the vehicle to a tree is the best option when you are outdoors. All you need is a high-quality chain that is long enough. It would be best to have a lock and key that thieves cannot break if you lock it.
For indoors, you need to fix a place to anchor the vehicle on the floor or wall. Then, use a high-quality chain to connect your vehicle to the anchor and lock it. Only use the best chain for this purpose to enforce its security, preventing a cut or break.
The best chain is one that has steel rings on the end to loop and lock. It enhances the security of the vehicle. The chain is also more affordable, sturdy, and long-lasting. A chain that has a circle is more solid and reliable than one without.
Ensure that you construct or install an anchor point where you can flip up. Being able to flip it makes driving from the anchoring point safe for the tires.
- Do not leave the engine idling.
The key to preventing theft is ensuring that no one uses your vehicle when away from home or at work. Keep the engine off at all times and use it only when you need to drive somewhere. If thieves steal your ATV, they will probably take advantage of the situation by starting up the vehicle and driving away with it right in front of everyone’s eyes without anyone noticing them or suspecting anything wrong.
- Using the Handlebar to Secure the ATV
A handlebar is another excellent option for securing your ATV. It works by preventing the wheels of your vehicle from rotating when you lock it.
When you install the handlebar lock, it locks your brake lever by pressurizing it. The pressure is what prevents the wheels from moving.
But, this method requires you to use another measure to ensure the best security. For example, a thief can disconnect the ATV brake lines and release the pressure. When one does this, the wheels will move. Thus, it makes it easy for someone to get away with your vehicle.
- Make sure that there are no spare keys.
If you want to make sure that your ATV is safe and secure, there should not be any extra set of keys available for anyone else. Thieves will try their best to get hold of them if they can. Make sure that the key does not leave your possession ever and if it does, make sure that you replace the entire lock immediately.
- Install Wheel Clamps
Wheel clamps work by preventing the thief from driving the bike away. But, you need to use two clamps each time you store the ATV, which is tiring. It is also important to note that clamps are costly and difficult to carry around while on trips.
- Use a Parking Racket
If there is no garage or locked place around your property to keep your ATV safe, use parking brakes instead. These are metal ropes that you can use to attach the wheels of an ATV to a fixed object such as a pole or something else. It will prevent thieves from just driving away with it, and if they do manage to, then the parking brakes will help keep track of the ATV location.
- Get a Dog
A dog can be beneficial in keeping your vehicle safe from thieves. Dogs bark when they sense something wrong going on around them, which will give you a warning. It enables you to take action immediately. Make sure to train your dog correctly by rewarding it every time it barks at someone suspicious instead of getting angry with the animal for barking without reason.
- Preventing ATV Theft on the Trailer
It is also easy for someone to get away with your vehicle. Thus, when installing it in your trailer, you should be cautious. Thus, it would be best if you had measures that would protect your vehicle from such theft. The following are some excellent anti-theft measures. You can take them to secure your machine while transporting it on the trailer.
Anchor the ATV on the trailer floor. Anchoring and locking the chains makes it difficult for a thief.
Lock the ATV with a hitch pin lock to prevent someone from getting away with your vehicle. The lock takes time to unlock, making it easy to identify the intruder. Invest in a high-quality lock to make this measure successful.
Some trailers have a ramp that you should fold backward. If yours has it, park the vehicle to ensure it is challenging to open. It prevents thieves from being able to access the ATV.
Placing a pin that locks on a hitch ball is another measure of securing your ATV. It is easy for a thief to remove any other pin driving away with your vehicle. But, a pin that comes with a locking section makes it an excellent security measure.
- Remove a fuse
If you wonder if there is a way to prevent theft without spending much money, try removing the fuse of your vehicle’s starter every time it goes out. Thieves will never know that this has been done because they do not know how cars work in general, so they see an ATV that cannot start for no apparent reason.
- Be Careful with Open Driveways
If you wonder how to make it harder for thieves to steal your ATV, simply try covering up your driveway. You can use paving stones, gravel, or anything else to ensure that there is no space available for someone to drive through and take advantage of the situation by stealing from you.
Taking measures to prevent someone from stealing your machine is an excellent idea. Given the many cases of ATV theft, it gives you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is safe. The measures will help you prevent theft and trace your vehicle if it gets stolen. I wish you the best of luck as you secure your ATV.