Hooniverse Asks: Has a car alarm ever stopped a robbery?

You’ve heard a car alarm before. It was probably going off at the other end of the parking lot while you were trying hopelessly to slip an Ektorp into your five-door and tying the hatch down with that pathetic plastic twine because you didn’t come prepared for your spouse’s need for lots of practical Swedish furniture that you’ll later struggle to assemble.

But enough about me. Let’s get to the question.
Have you actually seen someone attempting to break into a car, then scurry away when the thing started blaring that sound we all know and ignore?
Conversely, have you seen a smash-and-grabber that was completely unfazed by the alarm?
Tell us your story.

Bonus points if you’ve heard, “Protected by Viper. Stand back.”

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28 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Has a car alarm ever stopped a robbery?”

  1. mdharrell Avatar

    I’ve installed Unipart Vehicle Immobilisers in a couple of my British cars. The kits contain window stickers like those shown below, which seem to have proven sufficiently alarming for any would-be thieves who may have had prior experience with Unipart automotive components.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      Most would-be car thieves would expect a British car to be somewhat quirky to drive, though, and may stay away because of that. What could you do to prevent someone from driving away in your Ford?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        The secret with Fords is to buy a car from which someone back in the 1970s removed the engine, transmission, brakes, wiring harness, hood, front fenders, doors, dash, seats, top, glass, and pretty much whatever else they thought was a good idea at the time, then take great pains over the years (indeed, decades) never to reinstall any of these items.
        Theft deterred.

    2. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      Isn’t an immobilizer in a British car redundant?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        My hope is that it will of course fail catastrophically in its stated purpose, thereby imbuing the electrical system with invulnerable reliability.

        1. Victor Avatar

          Self Immobilizing for the win.

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    A friend had an alarm system with programmable voice messages. It came with default “please step away from the vehicle” messages in a couple of popular languages, but you could also record in your own voice and dialect.
    My friend recorded a “Hey! What are you looking at?” message for his. We were in a parking lot sitting in his truck, when a lovely young woman passed close enough to trigger the motion detector. Her response to the programmed question was “Certainly not you!”, and she strolled away. My friend recorded a more courteous message after that.

  3. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    Heard one at the grocery store yesterday. Looked around and couldn’t see anything, except that I was the only one not ignoring it.

    1. Alan Cesar Avatar
      Alan Cesar

      Did they steal cars or something?

    2. Alff Avatar

      Never noticed until now that Sammy had a disproportionately large head.

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    Haven’t been exposed much to car alarms, neither have I ever owned a desirable car. But I was surprised the one time I managed to lock myself out of my ’71 Volvo 145, the AAA-ish service dude jumped out of his truck and told me to count seconds. I think I got to “four” when he had managed to open the door by bending its frame a wee bit and slipping in some packaging plastics to catch the knob. Never even turned off his engine.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      That’s why you need a club lock!!

  5. Luxury Lexus Land-yacht Avatar
    Luxury Lexus Land-yacht

    Has the car alarm ever stopped a burglary.
    robbery ≠ burglary
    Carjacking, that’s robbery. Car theft is burglary, unless another person not involved in the thieving is a participant, in which case, also a robbery.
    A car alarm is unlikely to ever stop a robbery.

    1. Alan Cesar Avatar
      Alan Cesar

      You must be a lawyer.

      1. Luxury Lexus Land-yacht Avatar
        Luxury Lexus Land-yacht

        Nope, just well-read.

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      ^ Anal type of person with which I’m not friends.

      1. Luxury Lexus Land-yacht Avatar
        Luxury Lexus Land-yacht

        with whom I’m not friends.

  6. salguod Avatar

    The only thing that a car alarm on any of my vehicles has done is embarrass me. The basic factory “alarm” on a couple of cars has gone off when I reached in through an open window and unlocked the door rather than using the remote. Or accidentally locked a kid in the car and they set it off getting out.
    The 318ti has an actual factory alarm and I stopped at the parts store to get oil, popping the hood when I parked so I could check the oil. Having locked the car, when I came out and opened the hood the alarm went off.
    The Tbird has no alarm, but does have a hidden ignition cut off. I have cranked and cranked the engine, wondering why it wouldn’t start before remembering that I had flipped the switch.

  7. salguod Avatar

    So, did you manage to get all that in your Subaru?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Well done.

      2. salguod Avatar

        We went to Ikea last year with my sister’s 2001 Odyssey. There were 3 of us, so we had one second row seat in and we got a 3 cushion sofa, love seat, coffee table, two bentwood chairs and assorted small items inside. We did have to unbox one thing to make it happen, however. Gotta love wagons and vans.
        This was when Ikea was a 2 hour drive away, so two trips wasn’t really an option. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e52a2e8fcc5a9f1f2317f8791364a00009eec34f6265971c0872a3253949c68a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef65f13b5de5bf29b00301f23ab5bd82630cf6f5048092de05b41b25fba11dcb.jpg

  8. danleym Avatar

    My Jetta likes to lock itself anywhere from 10 seconds to 15 minutes after I unlock it. The best is when I unlock the car, get in, and before I put the key in the ignition it locks the doors. Then, when I put the key in the ignition, the alarm goes off. For some reason my car is trying to prevent the person who has the keys from stealing it…

  9. Gregg Collins Avatar
    Gregg Collins

    My Sebring Convertible had a Viper remote start and alarm installed. I did use it to warn off a fat woman that was about to park her butt on my fender. I was watching from a 3rd floor window and activated the alarm in panic mode and she moved away from the car.

  10. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    Yes. Burglars don’t want any attention. Even though “everybody ignores” car alarms, they do notice the car with the alarm going off.

  11. crank_case Avatar

    I’ve had two attempted thefts on my current MX5, but it was more the immobilizer than the alarm that stopped them. Even attempted thefts are a pain, finding glass all over the seats, damaged interior trim and rain soaked interior.

  12. P161911 Avatar

    Yesterday I was at the store with the Saab. I hear the really LOUD and annoying car alarm going off, it was a siren, not just a honking horn. “Some idiot won’t shut off their annoying alarm!” I FINALLY realized that it was the Saab. Apparently unlocking and opening the trunk with the key before you unlock the doors will set off the alarm. My 6 year old daughter looked at me and told me “Daddy, I tried to tell you it was your car!” I am not aware of an aftermarket alarm on this car. Really need to put a new battery in the key fob.