As UTVs become more popular, these useful and fun-to-ride vehicles are catching the eyes of many thieves. UTV thefts are on the rise over the last few years, and this can be a devastating and costly loss for any rancher, farmer, or casual owner. As a UTV owner, it’s important to make sure that your ride is secured, and protected against theft, damage, and vandalism.
So how can you best protect your UTV, and what steps can an owner take to ensure his ride is safe and well-protected?
How Can I Protect My UTV From Theft?
Some of the simplest ways to protect your UTV from theft involve concealing it from the eyes of potential thieves. People can’t covet what they can’t see, and sometimes just keeping a high-risk item invisible to criminals is enough to protect it.
Concealing a UTV can be easily done by purchasing a cover. Various styles of weather-resistant covers are available in the market. However, covers made of protective materials that safeguard against various outdoor elements, including minor physical damage, are preferred.
Make sure you store your UTV out of sight from the main road. If you can see your UTV from the street, so can a thief. Park and cover your UTV away from your main entry, and as far from prying eyes as possible.
A better course of action, though, is to house your UTV in a locked garage or storage shed when not in use. The more secure this unit is, the better, and a garage with locking doors, a security system, and even a camera system installed can work wonders to keep your UTV safe.
A steering wheel lock or a brake lock can also be great ways to help keep your ride even safer. Should thieves manage to break into a garage, they’ll be hard-pressed to steer or drive the UTV. Consider using trackers on your UTV. Many modern GPS tracking devices that fit discreetly on a ride can pair with an app on your phone or computer, and allow you to see where your UTV is at any given time. In case of theft, this can help you get your ride back much faster.
Another simple but effective idea is to have guard or patrol dogs roaming your premises in warm weather. Most thefts occur in the summer, and a guard dog can be an excellent deterrent, especially if you own larger breeds. Your dog can help scare off thieves in warmer months, as well as serve as a living alarm system. Make sure to keep your dogs indoors in colder weather, though.
What Should I Do if My UTV Gets Stolen?
Always report UTV theft or vandalism to the police immediately. You’ll want to have copies of all ownership documentation, licensing, registration, and vehicle information on hand, in a safe place should theft occur.
This will help you give a detailed report to the police, and let them compile info that can help you get your ride back. Next, you’ll want to contact your insurance company, let them know when the vehicle went missing, and answer any questions they may have. This will get the ball rolling on a claims process, and hopefully allow you to receive compensation should your UTV not turn up.
Let friends, family, and neighbors know you’re missing your UTV. Put the word out with other UTV owners in the area who you trust, in case someone tries to casually fence your ride. Spreading the word on social media, via email, and via text can be a great way to help those near you keep an eye out for your UTV.
Other places to keep an eye on are Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and eBay. Many vehicle thieves will try to quickly sell an item for cash online, as this makes them less likely to get caught. Do a search on these platforms for UTVs matching the description of the one you lost. Expand your radius of search, as the UTV may be 100 miles or more from where you last parked it.
If you do find your UTV online and for sale, don’t try to confront the seller yourself. It could be that the guy trying to sell it innocently bought it off the thief, and has no clue it’s stolen. Always allow law enforcement to handle the situation, and provide the police with your vehicle’s VIN, history, and paperwork.
Keeping your UTV covered, out of sight from the road, and in a locked garage if possible will all help to deter theft. Making sure your garage locks and installing a security camera can also be great ways to deter theft. Installing a small digital tracking device can also be a great way to keep track of your UTV from a cell phone or a computer.
Should your UTV be stolen, notify the police immediately, and be sure to hand over copies of all paperwork and vehicle info to authorities. Call your insurance company as well so that they can begin to process a claim.
Let all friends, family, neighbors, and nearby UTV owners know about the theft, and keep your eyes on online auction and sales sites in case your vehicle turns up. Should you spot your stolen UTV online, call the police and allow them to handle the situation.
Remember, the more proactive and vigilant you are about securing and protecting your UTV, the safer it will be. Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your investment.
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