Car alarms are "idiotic, selfish forms of noise pollution that do nothing to deter crime"


nobody takes them as a serious marker of crime-in-progress, so nobody alerts the authorities.

Sure, but the miscreant breaking into the car suddenly has a reason to be less comfortable and may break off. That happened to my van when it was parked out of sight. The window was broken, the alarm went off, and nothing was taken.


actually having a car alarm in my vehicle for over a decade I was only broken into once. and the thief had had unwittingly grabbed a car charger that was left in the car due to it’s cord being awkwardly entangle with the seat belt with long length of mason string. he grabbed it and semi wiped out about 10 feet from the car when the line ran out. I n the less than ten years I didn’t have an alarm I have been broken into numerous times I changed vehicles last year and have not installed an alarm I already have had one break in. that being said just having a flashing light that looks like an alarm is just as effective a deterrent how ever if your vehicle is parked nearby it is nice to know it will sound if some one messes with it. proper use of the alarm is factor to I learned quickly that was better to avoid having it on when parked in line with the street as the alarm was sometimes set off by loud mufflers sound waves hitting it from the side but with the rear end facing the road this was never a problem nor was it ever a problem in off street parking. thief’s check car handles here multiple times per week I just had another break in and will sleep soundly again when I have an alarm installed in the new family wagon.

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But…how else am I going to find my car in the parking lot?

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It struck me reading through the rest of this thread how the noise pollution is yet another in a long list of down sides to our car culture in the US.
“I’m going to buy a $60k vehicle but then leave it out on the street overnight and expect it to be unharmed,” seems kind of crazy. I can’t think of any other valuable piece of personal property we would expect to do that with.
And it’s so multi-layered. We’ve made it so in most parts of the country you need a personal vehicle to keep a job and get you and family members to appointments and events and everything. But we don’t have the storage infrastructure in most cities or towns for people to store them in a safe place, so they get left out in public. Becoming everyone’s problem.
I don’t think people used to do that with their horses…:thinking:


I can’t even turn mine off. And my dog trips it if she shifts in the back seat. Yes, don’t leave your dog in the car in the summer. But I can’t even keep the windows down and run in to buy a quart of milk the other 11 months of the year.

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More than a few tui birds near me here in NZ have mastered some of the alarms. They delight in showing their prowess. Fortunately they tend to do it in daylight hours.


I rarely hear car alarms in my neighborhood, but every car (mine too) has to emit a high-pitched chirp to let everyone know that the doors have been locked, or unlocked, or the trunk opened. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


There are cameras.

Calcitro caveat.

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The police in our town have essentially given up. We are close to a busy semi-residential intersection (two corners are homes, two corners have businesses) and the noise from modified mufflers, burning rubber, and the muscle cars and trucks is crazy.

The other night, someone’s car alarm went off for about four hours while it was parked in the grocery store parking lot (about 300 meters from our back yard). My best guess is that it belonged to a grocery store worker who was working late restocking shelves and was oblivious that their alarm was going off.


coca cola coke GIF by The Coca-Cola Company


None of my cars have factory installed alarms but they do have panic buttons. Just last week my mini van kept triggering the panic alarm. Great, now it has to go to service to troubleshoot or…

Stop leaving the remote where the darned cat can walk on it.

Years ago I was contracted to do some work on 75’ yacht. Is there an alarm? Yes but it will be disabled. Cool, be there in the morning.

Me and an employee show up and step one foot on the boat, all hell breaks loose, it spoke to us about intruder alert area 4 with sirens and flashy lights. My employee said now what? We gtf out of here, it’s connected to the police.

The guy called within a few minutes apologizing.

We used to clean offices along with several local banks, don’t even get me started on those alarms.

We house sit for one of our customers when they head south for the winter. I love the calls at 3 in the morning for multiple alarms. Not once have I showed up in my pajamas to find an intruder but they always ask if they should dispatch the police. Um, yeah, I ain’t walking through a giant house by myself.


Someone I know very well used to break into cars at apartment complexes in the Portland area. Contrary to what this article says, he made it very clear to me that a blinking alarm light or an alarm actually going off caused him to run away without stealing anything.

It was the unlocked, unsecured cars that made him happy and comfortable because he could open the door, slip into the car, and look like the driver as he rifled through things.

So even though it’s anecdotal, count me as someone happy to have a factory-installed alarm on my car. It has never gone off on accident - that I’m aware of - and nobody has broken into my car.


I would imagine that just like with most security cameras the chance of any footage leading to arrest or prosecution for minor property damage is pretty damn close to zero. The police don’t typically dedicate detectives to that kind of thing. But there’s always the possibility that the car belongs to a manager that would recognize me. If I were really determined I could approach the car from an angle that wasn’t being recorded (apparently the rear camera doesn’t record on some older models) or just wear a mask to obscure my identity.

Anyway, just ‘cause I’m tempted doesn’t mean I’ll actually do it. But I kinda hope that someone does.

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This article refers to aftermarket ones for the most part. Every car that I’ve owned since 1995 has had a factory “alarm”. They have literally never gone off once. They will only go off if someone busts the window or opens something forcefully. Which has never happened.


I was recently kept awake half the night by a car alarm that kept going off every 20 minutes or so. For hours. Eventually, in the middle of the night, there was a loud crashing breaking of glass noise, shortly followed by the alarm stopping, and a bit of angry shouting. And a cheer could be heard around the neighbourhood.


I super glued my “panic” button for the same reason. It’s been years, and it still won’t budge.


I have a car alarm, but I certainly didn’t ask for it (I hate them too). Every new car on the lot had them - I think you’d have to custom order a car these days to not get one. It also lowers my insurance a tiny bit.

I also popped the ‘panic’ button out of my remote, and now you really have to want to trigger it.

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Several years ago, I had a mockingbird in my yard whose repertoire consisted of different car alarm sounds.


Did you do crimes together?