concerns about theft


I just received my GPS for Christmas. I was just going to mount it on the windshield with it's little suction thing. Am I right to be concerned that someone might try to break into my car to steal it? I didn't realize they were such a high theft item. Now I'm thinking I might want to rethink the suction thingie.

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The start of this thread was originally posted as a reply to the "mounting solution" discussion. I moved it to its own topic to focus on the issue of GPS theft.


Theft Concerns

I think it would depend mostly on the areas that you are traveling in. I think most of us usually take the gps out of the vehicle or at least hide it somewhere (besides the glove compartment) when you are out of your car. It is also a good idea when using the windshield mount to wipe the little circle mark off the windshield that is left when you take the mount off. Alot of would be thieves would look for such marks to know which cars might have the gps units in them. It is also a good idea to hide any of the wires that you may use for charging and such. They are also a good sign that you might have something in there work taking.


I never leave mine on the

I never leave mine on the windshield, even though that's where it is when I'm using it. I do leave the mount, but not the unit itself. I bought myself (for Xmas) a nice, small camera case, just big enough for my Mio plus the cigarette lighter power cable, plus an extra SD card, so that I can carry it with me and not worry about losing it.

There are some companies out there making cases and such for these. Mine goes with me almost everywhere, but then I'm becoming a complete GPS addict...

. . If I only had a brain....................................... ..................................................... GPS Units in Use: Mio C310x (primary) and Garmin eTrex Legend for GeoCaching.


My JVC unit came with a very nice carry case with belt loops !I live out here in the boondocks and I still do not leave the unit exposed in the my truck! No sence tempting anyone!



Smokiesman Magellan 3225

try this

i just bought a external antenna so that i can mount my gps somewhere low and out of site. That does not mean that i will now leave the gps unit in the car but i didn't it for two reasons. One the mount is not in the window so if the gps falls it won't damage or get damaged on the way down and second because then when people walk by your car they don't see a huge mount in the window and suspect something. When i go somewhere with my gps i do leave it in the car but i hide it. Not having the mount on the window is one less cause to search further for that something that might go on the mount.

The external antenna is because i moved my gps unit to the side of my leg which is very accessible but i get poor reception.

Leaving mount on windshield

I remember reading somewhere that it is not recommended to leave the suction cup mount in the windshield, but not for theft deterrence (although that is another valid consideration). It is because the heat of the sun on the suction cup can damage that surface.

So for me, I remove the mount from the windshield and lay it in front of my steering wheel by the speedo and other gages. I either take the GPS with me, or conceal it in a compartment (i.e. glove box) in the car.


i got one of those dash

i got one of those dash mounts thats permanently attached since the thing it comes with doesnt mount very well. i wish it didnt say "garmin" on the mount, but i might take a black sharpie and black it out.

another idea

Black electrical tape might be a better option if you are at all concerned with resale value in case you ever want to upgrade in the future.
Miss Poi

@christinme7890 - do you

@christinme7890 - do you notice improved reception with the external antenna? Where do you locate that antenna? I'm thinking of doing the same with my Mio, just don't like it up on the dash there.

. . If I only had a brain....................................... ..................................................... GPS Units in Use: Mio C310x (primary) and Garmin eTrex Legend for GeoCaching.


I've had one unit grabbed out of my car in downtown Atlanta, now I always take the unit with me when I am anywhere where there is even a remote chance of it being stolen.

Garmin 770RV


Brott, I'm sorry that happened to you. could you share some details about what happened? like did you have the mount in the window? was the unit in site? or in the glove box? Or do you think it was a random break in and they got your gps?

Just wondering for peace of mind.

Theft Details

I had it mounted in the Window in the corner on the driver's side. It was essentially a smash and grab job. They broke out the driver window and grabbed them GPS and Mount. They didn't even grab the power cord. Nothing else was taken.

Garmin 770RV

Leave mine ...

I leave my mount in the window but put the GPS in a locked storage compartment in the middle of my backseat. I wonder if someone can see the mount and would ever think to break in just to see if I left it in the car somewhere. I guess this is just the risk I'm going to take because I don't want to walk around with it. I do lock it up in the storage compartment so if they want to break into the car and then search the empty glove compartment....then find the locked storage compartment in the back and try to break that open....I'd rather they have it; they would have worked hard enough to get it. BTW...when I know I'm going to the rougher part of town or parking my car in the airport or anywhere for a long period of time, I leave the Garmin home.

I guess I've become a little too relaxed in suburban Collin County (North of Dallas) as opposed to where I lived for most of my life; Queens NY.

___________________________________________ I'm going to save so much gas with this thing.


I leave my Garmin c340 in my Tahoe all the time.
Here is what I did. I removed the rubber pad from where the ash tray would have been. I mounted the circle disc just inside the ash tray compartment leaving enough room for the Garmin mount. The power cord plugs into the power supply inches away. I hide all the extra power cord behind the mount. This is a very clean installation.
So far no problem with Satellite receiption even in the long tunnel at LAX, the one that goes under the runways at the airport.
When I leave the Tahoe I put a baseball hat over the Garmin and the power plug.
If the bad guys look in my Tahoe all they see is an old baseball hat hanging on the dash.


"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming---WOW!! WHAT A RIDE!!!" Member 2854

I heard that if your unit

I heard that if your unit has Bluetooth signal, even if it is hiding somewhere in the car, some one could detect it and took it.

Power off

I think when the power is off there is no signal being put out. I would think it is like a cell phone.

Garmin nuvi 2455LMT (wife uses nuvi 255w) (sold C330)

Bluetooth Discovery

I have to go with compman72 that if the unit is powered off there is no bluetooth signal. Also I don't think that most smash and grabbers are going to be sophisticated enough to think it through and use a device to sniff out bluetooth devices. Usually that kind of theft is a crime of opportunity where they see the device and grab it.

I don't own a bluetooth enabled GPS but have several other bluetooth devices and I would think that the GPS would have a setting so that it is not discoverable. I am sure some of you bluetooth GPS owners can confirm that.

Garmin 770RV

Dash Mount

My Dash mount is the permanent one purchased from Garmin's website, so anyone looking would see it. It doesn't say Garmin on it, just "Unlock <-> Lock". I've actually considered making a sticker to put on it that say's "CoffeeMate 2000" just to throw people off and make them think it's one of those fancy dash coffee cup holders. (someone would probable break in and take that too.)


Mine stolen in Hawaii

I had a Navman stolen out of my rental car in Hawaii. It was broad daylight, four parking stalls from the entrance to the Pearl City shopping mall and directly under a security camera. I left the suction-cup mount on the windshield but put the unit in the trunk.

Along with the unit, the thief also got my digital camera, cell phone, work laptop, and he even took some of my clothes.

The cop said that the theives definately look for the GPS mounts, especially on rental cars.

I take everything off, out

I take everything off, out of sight. The GPS unit doesn't cost that much but hassle, cost to replace windows and anger will be much more than that.

Suction Cup Mount

I use the suction cup mount just below the rear view mirror. Most of the GPS models mount in a holder attached to the suction cup. It is usually easy to put up and take down. (not the suction cup but the GPS in the mount) The suction cup is really hard to get off.

I usually just take it down and stuff it under the seat or if it is really in a bad area, put it in the trunk.

Lot of times I just stick it in my pocket (it is a 360 and quite small).----------Earl Leeson

Earl Leeson Dallas, Texas Garmin Nuvi 360 (wife) Garmin Nuvi 660 (Me)

I believe in California, it

I believe in California, it is against the law to put the mount on the windshield, so I don't do that. If you do, I believe on the garmin suction ones, they have a poor suction and horrible reviews on which you can read about here. It seems that the sun ruins the plastic.

I have the mount in my car, but the garmin 360 is so small, I put it in my purse. I never leave electronics in the car (temperature and theft)

~Caroline =D Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities. - Aldous Huxley

ialways take my unit out of

ialways take my unit out of the car but unlees its in front of the house i thake down the mount and put it in the glove box not really worried about hem stealing the mount but what they will do to my car or truck to try to find something

I've made it a habit

That suction cup goes on and off pretty easily so I've just made it a habit to put it on and take if off whenever I use it. My Toyota has one of those deep storage areas next to the driver's seat and I put the mount and the power cord in there, and take the actual gps with me. Sounds like a lot more hassle to go through even one theft.

I agree with the previous

I agree with the previous comment that the aggravation of having your car broken into exceeds the value of items that might be stolen from within it.

I had a cup of pennies and an old coat stolen out of my Jeep in NYC (in a fairly nice neighborhood.) It cost more to fix the window than it did to replace the coat.

Lesson Learned:

Leave nothing of any value anywhere to be seen in your vehicle.

PS to add insult to injury. It snowed that night and I drove home to NJ with no window, no coat and alot of snow in my Jeep!

Theft of Garmin

I have been a law enforcement officer 30 years retired. Chicago. I've learned that like electricity the thief will take the path of least resistance. If its not seen they will move on to an easy target. It takes less than 1/2 a second to break the side glass and be gone just as fast. I wont tell you how and with what they use but trust me its smaller than a dime but very effective. I always remove mine suction cup and unit and wipe the glass so there in no tell tale marks. Never leave anything valuable in plain view.


Good idea Bill, I'll start

Good idea Bill, I'll start taking the suction cut down also. I do take my GPS with me, but I'll now hide the suction cup holder.

Case for travel

Speaking of a case, I have a Pelican 1020 Micro Case and it fits my NUVI 660 with leather case perfectly. The unit goes into that case as I travel by Airplane, and comes out to my rental car. The case is a very hard plastic and protects the GPS very well.

I usually keep my mount in the winsheild, it always happens to someone else, right?... guess I better start taking mine out as well.

NUVI 660, ETREX Vista, Rhino 120

R/Tim NUVI 660, ETREX Vista, Rhino 120, zumo 660, nuvi 3790

Hey R/Tim, Just kidding, I

Hey R/Tim,

Just kidding, I know the R stands for respectfully. When I park on base I leave my mount on my windshield, but I'm with you, I will start taking it down out in the public.


Just Kidding

I feel pretty safe on Army posts, but will remove it when I leave.


R/Tim NUVI 660, ETREX Vista, Rhino 120, zumo 660, nuvi 3790

I remove the unit and the

I remove the unit and the holder, but I never wiped the window. How long does it usually take to wipe it? And don't you need to use Windex to fully clean the window?

Not Sure

My new garmin C 530 has a security code and decals which warn the GPS are under password protection. I always figured that is good enough. Being a PO, myself I have found like on the old chevy's the radios were always a hot item to yank out. Now, GM puts in a password for the radios and theft is virtually zero. I never had it bothered and park in the hood everyday. Not sure what other peoples takes on this one is. Let me know what others think about passwords.

I think passwords would work

I think passwords would work if it was well known that the units were passworded. Although it is a feature, it is not mandatory to use it so most people don't really have theirs passworded, if it was known that every single unit was passworded, then I think they would stop getting stolen. I'm not sure how the mind set of a criminal works, but do they really read the decals on the cars before trying to steal something?

worried now.

All the comments have me worried now.

I will remove my mounts in our cars now.


How is traffic feature of the Garmin 340, any comments on how good it is in Hotlanta?



i live in dc and i never

i live in dc and i never keep mine in the car if i am not there. i will keep the mount part there but the gps goes with me. recently i had a friend who had a gps in dc and kept hers in the car, that very day it was stolen.

common sense

That's all it comes down to is common sense. If you give someone an opportunity, they may take it. Don't give em that option. Peace of mind...and it's not just in urban metropolitan areas. My sister in law had hers removed from the car while in her garage. This is in a gated community in an upscale town on the west coast of Florida. You just never know.

******************Garmin Nüvi 1300T****************Member 6523*******************

I have mine passworded but I

I have mine passworded but I wonder if Garmin would unlock it if a thief would send it to them with it being locked.

nuvi 755t

Mounting off the windshield

I would be very carefull about mounting the GPS unit anywhere other than the windshield. If you are looking for directions down by your leg, you cannot have a very good sight of the road ahead. In just one second you will travel at 30 mph 44', 40 mph 59', 50 mph 73' and at 60 mph 88'(about the lenght of two semis) and sometimes it is not easy to see all you need in just one second. If the unit is on the windshield you should have good periferal vision of the road ahead. Don't risk your life and other's for the sake of a possible theft. Just be careful and remove the GPS unit at least, I'm sure that will deter many crooks, who will think it not worth the risk of getting caught for nothing as the units are all easily removed and taken from the car by the owners! As for damage to the unit, it may be a lot cheaper than the front end of your car plus the the medical and insurance costs which may also apply.

Garmin Unlock

Hopefully, you have registered your unit with Garmin, so hopefully again, they would contact you before unlocking your unit and sending back to the thief. (Unless it was a sting operation that is. ie. send it back with a couple of burly police officers).

Sometimes there is no choice but to mount off-windshield

If you're in Minnesota (as I am at the moment) or California, the only thing you can have mounted on your windshield is your rear-view mirror.

*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

A friend of mine told me

A friend of mine told me that he got a summons for blocked vision down here in Virginia because his gps was on his dashboard.
I know up in New York you can receive a summons for unsecured Vision if you have anything on the dashboard or anything hanging on your rear view mirror.


I did not know about this

I did not know about this rule in NY. I drive around with a radar detector and my GPS on my window all the time.

Can't you trace it if stolen?

It's a GPS device. Can't it be traced very easily if it is stolen? Wouldn't it be a bit like breaking into a car and stealing just the LoJack box?

No. GPS devices do not

No. GPS devices do not actually broadcast their location. The satellites using radio frequencies actually broadcast their own position. Your GPS unit takes that information to figure out where you are (triangulation).

Nuvi 360 Stolen

I had my Nuvi 360 stolen from my rental car at the National car lot at O'Hare while returning the car. Only National staff around, and after waiting for an hour for the police to show, I finally made my report over the phone. Called Garmin to warn them, and the unit was PIN'ed.
My guess is the thief took it, couldn't get it to read and dumped it. I've taken the unit with me for trips before, and never had a problem.
The new one works well, I waited a whole day before I got a replacement!
I still have an i3 that I use for other members of the family and have left that on the windshield during extended stays in Florida and New York without any trouble, but I do agree that the hassle of replacement makes the few seconds to remove it from the windshield seem trivial.
The 360 is a big item and much more visible. I use the leather case that comes with it to slip it into my pocket now as I leave the car. I usually leave the mount in place, as it's a pain to get it re-attached each time and I find that a GPS on the floor of the car doesn't work too well.

Nuvi 360 & StreetPilot i3 - Networking, Mac & PC Consultant - (Macs for fun, PCs to make me money!) -

Nuvi 360 Stolen

Intrrnet, that reminds me of when I had a high end car stereo stolen years ago. I parked my car at a lot that I can almost guarantee that employees stole it. Best part was the unit was broken so like your pin'ed 360 it was worthless! At least there is some satisfaction that no one else will be enjoying your property.


Best that they not profit from the theft, it only encourages them. This one gets the force field, and if anyone tries to snatch it, they loose their fingers!
(Fantasy, but hopeful!)

Nuvi 360 & StreetPilot i3 - Networking, Mac & PC Consultant - (Macs for fun, PCs to make me money!) -

gps theft-

Good point on the windshield circles. What I've done is put all items in a laundry bag marked diapers and tossing it in the trunk. So far so good.

-------------- NUVI 680.


I also leave my mount, but not the GPS unit in the car. In addition to theft, I am concerned about extreme heat and cold in the car.

RKF (Brookeville, MD) Garmin Nuvi 660, 360 & Street Pilot

I am NOT that worried about

I am NOT that worried about theft where I will take down my mount or even "worse" rub the circles off. However, I do take mine with me when I am not in the car. As Randy already stated, not only theft, but temp. is a concern for me.

Charley - Nuvi 350 - Bel STI Driver - Cobra 29 w/ wilson 1000 - AIM: asianfire -
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