Many do it; I know I have. It’s probably the stupidest thing you can do, but it’s done every day in Central Jersey. What is it? If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ll share in a moment (or you can page down).

According to the Insurance Information Institute, over 10,000 cars are stolen in New Jersey each year. However, according to Consumer Reports, there are some extremely effective precautions we can take to help prevent auto theft.

Park in a well-lit area. Car thieves are more likely to target cars in dark or remote areas. If you park in your driveway or garage, install automatic lighting which will help to scare off potential thieves.

If you vehicle doesn’t have an anti-theft device, have one installed. It could pay for itself by saving you on insurance, and the cost and aggravation of having your car disappear. Even if you get a simple steering wheel lock, they really do work. It may not be difficult for a thief to cut through it, but they’re more likely to move on to another victim.

And finally, I did this for years and only stopped when a neighbor’s car was stolen. DON’T LEAVE YOUR KEY OR KEY FOB IN YOUR CAR. It is so much more convenient, but it also makes it simple for crooks to drive off with your car (and everything in it) in a matter of seconds. Because the car doesn’t lock with the fob inside, it just takes a simple pull of the handle to open the door. If the fob is in the car then it can literally take a car thief less than 5 seconds to get in and drive off.