How to Protect Your Land from Trespassing Vehicles

Large empty parking lot 900x600

One of the toughest challenges that landowners face is trespassers on their land. Trespassing can happen in person or using a vehicle. Motorists may park their cars on your land without permission. It could be land around your house, business, or an entirely different location.

Trespassers can cause you serious legal and financial problems. While trespassing is illegal, it doesn’t stop individuals from doing it. So, we understand that you may be wondering how to protect your land from trespassing vehicles.

Why Your Property is Tempting Trespassers

According to Hank with GearSlap, a website dedicated to auto racing, automotive repairs and motorsports,  your property can be a magnet for people looking to play in their cars.

An empty parking lot, whether dry or covered in snow, looks like a playland for someone looking to do donuts in their car. If they feel like practicing their drifting skills, they may burn rubber all over your lot.

If you have an empty dirt lot you may find those off-road vehicles crawling over dirt piles and trying to test their cars’ ability to handle dirt & gravel. This can be compounded if you have land or property in the mountains as 4X4s will use your land to rock crawl or overland camp.

There are things you can do to protect your land and keep it from looking like a tempting place to drive.

What You Can Do to Safeguard Your Land

We had an empty lot next to our headquarters that was for future expansion. We found people were driving on the lot and sometimes dumping trash there. We didn’t want this, clearly, so we fixed it with some boulders and a locked gate.

There are additional measures you can adopt to keep trespassing vehicles off your land. They include the following.

Use Physical Barriers

Fencing as a physical barrier to your land is a great way to keep trespassers off your property. Through fencing, you can protect your vacant land. You can use plant barriers to keep people from seeing into your property and getting in.

But a disadvantage with plant borders is that they may lose their coverage in certain seasons. They may grow so tall in a couple of years that they don’t serve as a barrier anymore.

So, if you plan to use plant barriers, we suggest you consider whether it will serve you in the long term. You can also place concrete barriers and natural barriers like rock, stone or boulders around the perimeter to protect your land from trespassing vehicles.

Concrete barriers deter people from trying to enter since trespassers can’t move the barrier to make more room for their vehicles.

Post Signs on Your Land to Warn Trespassers

Make sure that trespassers know your land is private property by posting “No Trespassing” signs. These signs should be clear enough that no one can claim not to have seen them. A good practice when posting ‘no trespassing’ signs is to include them at regular intervals. A good example would be posting a sign after every 50 feet.

You must note that if someone wants to get onto your land, they will do whatever they can to do so. Thus, you can place signs prohibiting trespassing at all access points. That way, you can have grounds to prosecute any trespassing vehicles.

Install Security Cameras

Security cameras are quite effective in deterring illegal entry into your land. They are particularly effective when signs are pointing to their presence. Signs ensure trespassers know you can see them. You can use security cameras to protect your parking lot.

Trespassers may think that signs about surveillance cameras are false threats. So, they may proceed to enter illegally. If they destroy your property, steal, or suffer an injury while on your land, you will have the surveillance video to use as evidence during legal proceedings.

Also, ensure that your land is well lit. Trespassers will avoid your property if they know they will be easily spotted.

Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors

Your neighbors might be the best resource in keeping trespassers off your property. So, make sure you introduce yourself to them and assure them of your plans with the land. Also, mention your plans to protect the land.

Your neighbors may be facing the same problem with trespassing vehicles. So, it may help if you combine forces and deal with the problem jointly. It may prove more effective than handling the issue alone.

Take Legal Action

If you catch trespassing vehicles on your land, you may let them off with a warning. If the trespassers have criminal intent, a warning may not do much to deter them from repeating the offense.

So, you can take legal action instead of simply yelling at someone. Let trespassers get punished by the law. Word will soon get around that any trespassing vehicle found on your property will face the law. Thus, trespassers will avoid your property.

What to Do If You See Someone Trespassing in Their Vehicles

Whatever measures you take to protect your land from trespassing vehicles may not always work. So, what do you do once you see someone trespassing in their vehicles?

Order them to Leave

As a landowner, you have a legal right to ask trespassers to leave your property. So, you can do so if you see trespassing vehicles. But asking someone to leave isn’t always possible if the situation seems dangerous.

Call Law Enforcement

If a person trespassing in their vehicle seems dangerous, it may not be worth it to confront them. Instead, call the police. But first, make sure you are safe before contacting them. Ensuring your safety may involve going to your neighbor’s place or locking your doors.

Also, call law enforcement if the trespasser refuses to leave once you ask them. Make sure you gather as much information about the trespasser to relay it to the police. You may gather information by taking pictures or videos. Make notes of the following.

  • The type of vehicle
  • License plate
  • Physical features of the motorist
  • Any vandalism or theft

Documenting such information will help you bring a case against the trespasser. As mentioned before, it will deter future trespassing. Plus, you can hold the trespasser financially liable for any damage to your property.

We know that one of the best ways to protect your land is to ensure it doesn’t look vacant. If you keep your grass cut and bushes trimmed it signals that your property is “active” and in use. We can help with that.

Give us a call.