A while back, my friend came to me for advice on keeping an eye on her parked car out in the driveway at night after her car was vandalized and keyed.

Lately, I kept hearing car owners fretting about frequent instances of their cars being keyed, broken into, vandalized, smashed, damaged, vandalized or even stolen.

I felt it's really necessary to share what I told my friend to many anxious car owners out there some tips to catch someone vandalizing, breaking into or stealing your cars.

Who this Advice for?

If you are those whose car was recently broken into/vandalized/keyed/damaged in the middle of the night or in the early morning like 2 or 3 am or keeps getting keyed, car window smashed or other damages, then this post will help you find a reliable security camera solution for car surveillance and deter would-be car burglars or perpetrators.

Or you are those who are looking for a security camera/video camera to be placed on the front door/garage/apartment window/townhouse window looking out your parked car or a dashcam inside a car, still, you find this guide extremely helpful.

Security Camera for Car Surveillance

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Check out the infographic for a quick view of how to catch someone breaking into your car at night:

How to Catch Someone Breaking Into Your Car

How to Catch Someone Vandalizing/Breaking Into/Stealing Your Car at Night

How to catch or stop someone vandalizing, breaking into or stealing your car? Say, what to do when the car is parked outside either on either on the driveway, front door, in the street, outside your house, shared parking space, apartment parking lot or alley overnight?

You need extra pairs of eyes out there keeping tabs on your parked car.

Parked car security cameras, car hidden/spy cams, dash cams for a parked car, home security cameras (front door, driveway, garage, or backyard), car surveillance security cameras, or in-car security cameras help catch, deter or stop someone breaking into, vandalizing, keying or stealing your parked car.

Parked Car Security Camera

We offer these helpful tips to catch a car burglar or vandal while factoring in where you park your vehicles.

Scenario 1: Cars are Parked in a Poorly-Lit or Low Light Area

Many people park their cars out on the street, driveway, curbside, shared parking lot or down the alley next to the townhouse, which in many cases are poorly lit and dark.

So how could you catch or stop someone keying or damaging your parked car at night?

To catch and identify someone who vandalizes, breaks into, damages or steals your car or belongings, you could go for the color night vision security cameras that capture important visual details, like the clothes color of the perpetrators, makes of the cars, or other details.

The Reolink Argus 2 color night vision security camera, for example, can capture up to 33 feet at night, which is great to mount on the wall, soffit, the overhang of the roof, or under the eave to keep tabs on your parked car.

Or users could choose outdoor security cameras with decent night vision (IR cut filter & wide dynamic range) capture clear & crisp videos with balanced lighting and rich details, such as Reolink RLC-423 (PTZ IP camera with 190 ft night vision).

And Reolink RLC-410W (4MP Super HD IP security camera with 36pcs IR LEDs) works nicely in such scenarios.

Coupled with a network video recorder (NVR), Network-attached storage (NAS), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), homeowners could use Reolink cameras (apart from battery-powered security cameras like Reolink Argus 2) to record 24/7 around the clock.

With around-the-clock recording and monitoring, video footage catches the whole incident.

Scenario 2: Cars are Parked far away from the House/Apartment

More often than not, you have to park your car a bit far away from your place, like 30 feet or 50 feet away from the house, apartment complex, townhouse, townhome-style apartment, or outside the building for the night, which makes monitoring your parked car difficult.

Long range outdoor HD security cameras, which get decent infrared night vision (over 100ft) and varifocal lens (optical zoom capability), are good options to catch car burglars or someone damaging your car, such as Reolink RLC-511 (long range HD security camera).

And, of course, the wireless car security camera with optical zoom Reolink RLC-511W (pan-tilt-zoom 5MP with 40 feet night vision) works too. You could simply place them outside or in the window point at the parked car, just like what this user did with RLC-411WS, the 4MP version of RLC-511W, to keep a watchful eye out there.

Scenario 3: Cars are Parked in a Detached Garage

Often, in many cases, there is no way to run wires to the camera in places where you park your vehicle, such as a detached garage. Or you couldn't physically install or hardwire a security camera to watch your parked car. While you still need to be alerted and be able to view video feeds via mobile phone.

Wireless/ WiFi car security cameras, running off AC power or batteries, can be placed on the garage door to catch anyone keying or damaging your car at night, such as Reolink C1 Pro (wireless WiFi automobile security camera), Reolink Argus 2 (rechargeable/solar-powered wireless outdoor camera).

With microSD card, Cloud storage, car owners keep a record of motion events.

Reolink Argus 2 could also act as car hidden or spy cam with some of its adorable skin suits, and surprisingly, a very good car alarm too.

Scenario 4: There is No or Limited Network/Internet Access

I believe many people park their car in areas with limited or no network/internet access like an underground parking lot, an area not in the range of WiFi network.

To keep an eye on your parked car or being able to record even when the engine is off, car owners could use dash cams that record while your car is parked, for example, BlackVue dashcam kit.

Or setting up a cellular security camera like Reolink Go 4G-LTE solar security cam, which could be mounted on walls, soffit, the overhang of the roof, or under the eave to watch over your parked cars.

Reolink Go

100% Wire-Free 3G/4G LTE Mobile Camera

No WiFi & Power Needed; Rechargeable Battery or Solar Powered; 1080p Full HD; Starlight Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; Live View Anytime Anywhere.

In Car Security Camera


If your car was unfortunately broken into, vandalized, damaged, keyed, or stolen, it's important to notify the authority or fill the police report immediately. Meanwhile, make sure take a picture of the damage or document the incident before filing a claim with your insurer.

If your car hasn't been targeted by car thieves, burglars or vandals, make sure your car is insured, locked, and parked safely in well-lit areas and parked legally. Besides, don't leave any valuable belongs or electronic gadget in plain sight and keep your car tidy and clean.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent your car from theft, burglary, keying, vandalism, or damage.

  • Videos Point

    thank you for posting this front and rear dash cam, your setup will be my FIRST Pi project. 1 question, im planning to mount my Pi in the trunk where it can get great airflow and not be in the way, Im planning on only suing 1 camera, should i use the Pi camera V2 for the front camera or could i use a plu gin USB camera ? the only reason i ask is a USB camera has a housing and i can extend from the trunk to the dash where as using the ribbon camera only has approx 3″ length... would you be open to a skype call ? thank in advance !

  • Annie Cudmore

    What if my car is parked away from my house, not within sight of a camera?

    • Olivia

      Hello Annie, if your car is parked away from your house and not within sight of a camera, we do suggest getting a dash cam that records even when the engine is off, like the BlackVue dashcam kit that mentioned in last part of this article ”Scenario 4: There is No or Limited Network/Internet Access”.

      Hope this helps 🙂

    • Justin Jackson

      I would get the pazi app. It's a community of people reporting about these incidents everyday.

  • Angela Coppola

    What about situations when the car is parked in a business lot in broad daylight and someone still keys it or otherwise vandalizes it? How cannot be prevented.?

    • Olivia

      Hi, Angela, to prevent your car from vandalism in a business lot, you'd better communicate with the property management agency of the business lot and negotiate practical solutions like enhancing the security with surveillance equipment or security guards. Hope this helps.

    • Sal

      Same thing just happened to me on Tuesday 🙁

  • Marilyn Irish

    good article but no links follow up on some of the ideas presented.



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