Do you want to buy a jeep wrangler, or are you already an owner? You might have some questions regarding your wrangler’s security as car theft and component theft are some of the major crimes committed in all states. In this article, we’ll see how often do jeep wranglers get stolen and what you can do to prevent it?
Like any other vehicle, Jeep can also be stolen. Specific models like Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Gladiator & Jeep Wrangler TJ are the most stolen vehicles according to the online records. You can prevent this by making sure you have security cameras installed in and outside your garage, having a kill switch and GPS tracking installed.
Be more vigilant if you have installed Soft tops, Trek tops, and half doors installed. These will make your Jeep an easy target.
From various researches done, Jeep wranglers are less likely to get stolen, but this does not mean that you should leave your wrangler exposed just anywhere. Regardless of the make, an exposed car is an easy target for theft or vandalization.
For example, when you park your wrangler in an open parking area with no security and leave just one window open, it is easier for a thief to get in and drive away or steal anything from your wrangler. This includes personal items if there are any.
Are jeep wranglers easy to break into?
This is where the wrangler’s main weak spot comes in as the wrangler is easy to break into and vandalize for three main reasons.
- Standard key
Some older model wranglers have the traditional ignition key, which I used to lock and unlock the wrangler. Some people prefer the traditional key over the keyless ignition fob, which is also used to open and lock the wrangler from a distance.
This is because you cannot unlock, lock, and start the engine if your key fob is damaged, for example, when it falls or drops in water. Key fobs are also prone to software fails as they are computer chips just like any other computer.
But key fobs are more secure than traditional ones because duplicating the software in the chip is more complex when someone wants to clone the key fob.
If someone wants to clone a traditional key, it is the oldest trick in the book and can be done so quickly. Picking the door locks and the ignition is another way thieves can use to steal or access your wrangler.
- Removable doors and roof
The jeep wrangler comes from the factory with easily removable doors and roofs that can be removed, and all one needs is to gain access to your wrangler. This makes jeep wranglers doors and roofs an easy target for thieves.
They might not want anything else from your wrangler, and they’ll steal it just to remove the doors and roof. Cases of jeep wranglers being found without doors and a roof and sometimes even the tailgate are common, especially in areas with many wrangler owners.
With the doors and the roof removed, it is easy to get in and out of your wrangler or even get in and drive off. Some wrangler owners remove the doors and windows, especially during the summer or off-roading, to get that fresh air and outside feel.
If you leave your wrangler unattended, the risk of your personal items and some components, such as the radio in your wrangler being stolen or someone getting in and driving away with your wrangler, is high. It is quite easy to access the cabin even with tube doors, mesh tops, or bikini tops installed.
If you are at a petrol station and you want to access the convenience store, never leave your wrangler unattended, and if it’s completely necessary, turn off your wrangler and take the keys or key fob with you.
Most drivers tend to leave their keys in their wrangler when they get into convenience stores, making it easier for someone to get in and drive away.
- Bugs in the U-connect system
Newer jeep wranglers, produced in 2011, have the U-connect system on the infotainment system. It serves several purposes, including locking and unlocking the wrangler and operating the AC system, among other uses.
Bugs in this system make it easy for someone to remotely hack and control the wrangler without physically touching the wrangler.
The U-connect system is built on a mobile-like platform and has an IP address. Anyone who can get the IP address can hack into the system.
However, the same system can get your wrangler found if whoever has your wrangler has not removed it. It has a tracker encoded in case of a search and rescue when you get lost, or your wrangler gets stolen.
If you reside in or frequent areas where car theft is rampant, you’ll need to put measures that will prevent your wrangler from getting vandalized or stolen.
The following are measures you can put in place or what you can avoid to keep your wrangler safe from theft or vandalization.
How can you prevent your wrangler from getting stolen or vandalized?
- Parking your wrangler in a secure parking spot
This is the most essential thing you can do to prevent theft and vandalism on your wrangler. Most thieves will target your wrangler when you’re not around it, and they’ll make sure that you’re nowhere close to it.
If you use your wrangler to commute, you’d instead park it in a secured parking area a distance from your workplace instead of parking it on the street where it is not safe.
Most parking spaces have guards and security cameras which make it harder for thieves to target cars in that parking space. Tipping the guard once and maintaining a good friendship with the guard ensures you that your wrangler is always safe.
Such parking spaces are paid for, but it is a small price compared to replacing your side mirrors if they get stolen. The same applies when you are at home, parking your wrangler on the curb puts it at risk of being stolen or vandalized.
If you don’t have a driveway or a garage, park your wrangler in a secure parking space. Parking is in the garage is way better, since gaining access into the garage is hard for thieves. Also, You can install security cameras on the driveway or in the garage if you suspect anything.
- Keeping the doors locked when driving and when leaving the car
Some thieves will target your wrangler while in traffic. Ensure that you keep your doors and windows locked to prevent forced entry. Even if you are not in traffic, something can be planted on the road which will make you stop, and thieves will try and force their way into your wrangler.
But with the doors and windows are locked, you’ll have some time to react by driving in any direction. If you are solo driving, ensure that the rest of the doors and windows are locked at all times.
When parking your wrangler and you’ll be out for a while, ensure all the doors are locked, and windows are up. If you are using the traditional car keys, there is a probability that all the doors won’t lock if you lock all the doors from the driver’s door.
Doing an all-around check and locking the doors from the inside is recommended. If you have the proximity lock and unlock key fob, turn it off after the door locks have automatically locked.
This prevents the key fob from transmitting signals to the wrangler, which will open it, and all you need is to be close enough. If you cannot turn the key fob off, store it in a wallet with a signal blocking lining or the box.
- Always know, where you are going
Some areas have higher car theft and vandalization cases than others, and it is advisable to avoid such places if you can. Even if it means taking an alternative, longer route. You’d better use more fuel and more time rather than risk your safety and the safety of your wrangler.
If it is mandatory, you go to such areas to stay near or inside your wrangler and keep the engine running, doors locked, and windows up, ready to drive off in case of anything.
- Avoid Keeping personal items exposed in the cabin
Before someone tries to gain entry to your wrangler, he will look through the windows and see something valuable. If you leave some personal items such as your wallet or phone, they will try breaking in to take whatever there is. They are less likely to drive away since jeep wranglers are rarely stolen.
- Installing anti-theft systems and additional trackers in your wrangler
Newer model jeep wranglers come with an anti-theft system, which alerts anyone around when someone attempts to take any component off or gain entry into the wrangler. But sometimes, thieves bypass this alarm system. There are other anti-theft methods you can use.
Installing a steering wheel lock helps as a thief can start the wrangler but cannot drive away. Steering wheel locks are available in a couple of configurations, and different designs are priced differently. You’ll find that the most expensive one best protects your wrangler.
Installing an immobilizer will prevent someone from driving away with your wrangler even if they manage to start it. This is one of the most effective methods. Even if thieves manage to drive away, they will only do so for a short distance before the immobilizer shuts off the engine.
Install a secondary alarm system and tracker, as most thieves will have probably figured out how to disable the factory alarm and tracking system. If you have a secondary alarm system, it will go off if someone tries to force entry into your wrangler.
A secondary tracking system is installed in a very discreet place on your wrangler. It is independent of power from the battery, even when the battery is removed, you can still track your wrangler.
The U-connect system acts as a tracker and can be disabled at any time. The secondary tracker is installed in case this happens.
Which jeep wranglers are most likely to be stolen or vandalized?
As said earlier, jeep wranglers rarely get stolen. But suppose there happened to be cases of jeep wrangler theft. In that case, you’ll notice that the higher-spec jeep wranglers do get stolen or upgraded jeep wranglers with desirable modifications.
It is recommended you ensure that your wrangler is safe and has other theft-protection methods apart from the standard ones. Ensure any bolt-on modifications are correctly mounted because it will be easier to remove them if they are not.
Suppose you search online for most stolen or vandalized cars or specifically SUVs. In that case, you’ll rarely come across jeep wranglers, but this does not mean that your wrangler is completely safe, and you should neglect it just as you feel.
This will leave you carless, and nobody wants that. Follow all recommendations on keeping your wrangler and anything in it safe from theft or vandalization.