Roof Rack Security: 7 Ways to Prevent Roof Rack Theft

When it comes to securing your roof rack from theft, there aren’t many options, so we’ve made sure to cover all the techniques in this article.

You can secure your roof rack with special locks that require keys to remove. Roof rack locks are recommended for when you need to use your roof rack, but when you’re not using the rack, you should take it off the car and store it in your garage.

If you’re in the market for a roof rack and you’re still deciding which type to get, this article will help you make your decision. Some roof racks have no way of permanently securing to your vehicle; some have built-in locks.

7 Ways to Prevent Roof Rack Theft

Let’s go through some ways to secure your roof rack from theft.

Get Roof Racks With Built-In Locks

Roof Rack With Built-In Lock

If you can, get roof racks that have built-in locks like this one. This way, you can lock the roof rack to your vehicle’s roof so that thieves can’t easily detach it. If the thief breaks the locks, they won’t be able to sell the roof rack very easily.

This type of roof rack is suitable for vehicles with flat rooftops and requires the appropriate in-su fit kit. This roof rack also requires aero bars and a fit hook, which is sold separately to complete the installation. It comes with a lifetime warranty.


Install A Roof Rack Lock

Roof Rack Lock

There are many roof rack options that lock, and this is one option that can work for most people.

After fitting the roof rack to your vehicle, you just turn your key inside these locks to lock the roof rack in place.

If the thief breaks the locks, they will be breaking the item they are stealing, and they won’t have much luck selling it in a broken state.


Lock The Roof Rack And Roof Bars Together

Lock The Roof Rack And Roof Bars Together

Run a strong cable through your roof rack bars and through your roof rack as well to securely connect them together.

You should use a strong cable like this one on Amazon so that nobody without a big pair of bolt cutters will be able to steal your roof rack.


Remove Your Roof Racks When You are Not Using Them

This is by far the most effective way of keeping your roof rack safe from thieves. Nobody uses their roof rack every single day, so whenever you’re not using it, take it off your vehicle and store it in your garage.

This makes a lot of sense, especially for people who only use the roof rack for weekends away and other activities that unfortunately don’t occur every day.


Mark Your Roof Rack

This is the most unusual way of deterring thieves from stealing your roof rack, but it could really work. Some people suggest painting the roof rack with crazy colors to make it look unappealing.

My suggestion is, have your roof rack marked with the words “STRICTLY NOT FOR SALE.”

I know this might sound a bit weird, but thieves usually sell these stolen goods to second-hand shops, and those shops don’t want goods that say “STRICTLY NOT FOR SALE” on them.

These thieves usually don’t have anything to paint over the rack with, they usually steal the goods and go straight to the pawnshop to sell so they will have some difficulty with anything marked in this way.


Attach An Alarm Lock To The Roof Rack Bar

Attach An Alarm Lock To The Roof Rack Bar

This one may sound a bit strange, but it can be effective in deterring criminals from stealing your roof rack.

You can attach one of these alarm locks from Amazon to the roof rack when you leave your vehicle parked somewhere. (Not for when you’re driving)

What this lock will do is sound off an alarm when it’s moved, so if a thief starts to move your roof rack, the alarm will sound off and probably scare the thief away.

It will also alert you if you’re in the area so that you can quickly check what’s going on at your vehicle.


Install A Tracking Device

Install A Tracking Device

If you have a really expensive roof rack on your vehicle, you can install this tracking device somewhere on the roof rack where thieves won’t see it.

This tracking device has tiny LEDs that you can leave on to deter criminals, but I would rather hide the tracking device away and switch the LEDs off via the application.

If your roof rack gets stolen, you can contact the authorities to help you in retrieving your roof rack and maybe even catching the criminals.


Conclusion: How To Prevent Roof Rack Theft?

If you don’t use your roof rack often, you should definitely detach it from your vehicle and store it indoors like in your garage, that is where it will be the safest because roof rack theft mostly occurs when the vehicle is parked out in public like in parking lots.

Make sure your roof rack is locked down with the built-in locks. If your roof rack does not have built-in locks, get a cable lock and secure the roof rack to the roof rack bars of your vehicle if you have the bars.

Marking your roof rack with “NOT FOR SALE” can deter criminals who don’t want to go through the trouble of convincing the second-hand shop to buy something that is marked in such a manner.

Attaching an alarm disc lock to the roof rack will stop anyone from moving the roof rack without the siren sounding off. Only attach the alarm to the roof rack when the vehicle is parked and not while you’re driving.

The alarm will go off if there is any movement so you can’t have the lock attached and armed while you’re driving, it will also rattle and move around up there while you’re driving so only attach the alarm lock to the roof rack while the vehicle is in the parked position.

A tracking device can be hidden on your roof rack with the help of some electrical tape so that you can track down your roof rack if it’s just been stolen. Just make sure to contact the authorities for assistance and don’t go running after the bad guys by yourself.

Also Read:

How To Secure Garden Bench From Theft

How to Secure Trailer From Theft

Best Window Security Films

Locks for Shipping Containers

How to Prevent Ring Doorbell Theft

How To Prevent Steering Wheel Theft?

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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