More and more people now are using GPS devices to help them get from point A to point B. And it makes sense because these devices are very useful. Whether you’re checking to see if the route you take home from work every day really is the shortest or you’re trying to get some place new, these devices can save you a lot of time and hassle. What a lot of these users are also experiencing, along with all of the good stuff, is theft. According to the FBI, there were nearly 31,000 GPS thefts this year alone. That is a pretty scary number, even when you only use the premier parking spaces in Miami. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t own and love your GPS, it just means that you have to be smart about how you use it and what you do with it when you’re not.

The Dangers of GPS Theft

Of course, having anything stolen is not a good thing. It is costly, upsetting, and it can even be traumatic, depending on the circumstances of the robbery. With GPS devices, however, there is even more to the theft than your device being taken. A lot of times, thieves will risk breaking into a car if they think there might be a GPS unit inside. This means there will be damage to your vehicle that you now have to pay to repair. Also, if they do manage to get ahold of your GPS, they could track you from your premier parking spot in Miami to your home and steal from you there as well. Most GPS devices have a home feature that allows you to program in your address, making return trips easier to navigate. Thieves can use this information to steal from you, to steal your identity, and to further intrude upon your life. So which kind of device is less likely to be taken?

Pros and Cons

There are two types of GPS devices that people use in their cars; in-dash and free-floating. With an in-dash device, a thief would have to break into your car with special tools or a crowbar to get the GPS free. If they choose the crowbar method, they’re either going to break the unit or make off with it. Either way, you’re looking at a loss of $300 to $800 for the device alone. With a free-floating unit, all a thief needs to do is find it and it’s theirs. If you left the device in your car, that’s a loss of $60 to $300. If the unit isn’t there, you’re still looking at the cost of the repairs to your broken window or lock.

What This Means

The initial investment in an in-dash GPS unit might be more costly, but most thieves aren’t going to risk taking the time to steal it. The longer they’re in your car, the bigger chance they will have of being caught. Also, if your GPS unit is factory installed, it’s not going to work on nearly as many cars, rendering it way less valuable. A free-floating device is cheaper but if a thief sees the device or the ring from the mount on your windshield, it’ll take seconds for them to smash in and take it. You also run the risk of your car being broken into even if the device is at home or in your purse. If you don’t take the steps to remove the evidence of having a GPS, you might still be burgled, the thief just won’t get what they were after.

It all comes down to how much you’re willing to invest and how careful or careless you are. If you know you are forgetful and you have the money, you should go with the in-dash system. This will put you at less of a risk of GPS theft and still give you all the directions you need. If you can’t fund that type of project and you’re sure you can remove the rings and mounts each time you leave your vehicle, then go with the free floating device. Ultimately, if your car is parked somewhere in either in premier parking in Miami or a not so nice alley in New York, your GPS could be taken. You need to weigh your options with your risks and pick the device that is best suited for you. Our recommendation? If you have the funds, spring for the in-dash option. It’s the safest bet and we don’t want you to have to deal with a car break in.