After years in the auto locksmith industry, helping clients with our key replacement services due to car break-ins, I’ve learned that they are crimes of opportunity that have one thing in common – something has been left in the vehicle that is worth stealing. The majority of criminal acts related to cars could easily be avoided by taking a few preventative steps that include the following.
Before you reach your destination (never when you arrive), place all possible temptations out of sight, always avoiding leaving valuables out in the open. Something a lot of people do is open the trunk, fill it full of their purchases, close it, and walk away to do other shopping. The important thing to keep in mind is that if someone happens to be watching, once you’re gone, they’ll be tempted to break into your car. In addition, always put valuables in a safe place before you get to the ball game, the park, the beach, etc.
Examples of tempting items that criminals are attracted to include the chance to get a hold of credit cards, MP3 players, packages and so on. With today’s “mobile centric” small business world, cars act as an office, transporting vital devices like their smartphones, tablets and laptops. The theft of these items can be devastating for a small business. It’s always important to keep in mind that simply covering items with a jacket or blanket isn’t going to help. As a matter of fact, doing this can be an even bigger temptation with car thieves breaking a window just to see what’s important enough to try to hide.
There’s never a good time have your car broken into but it’s particularly troublesome if you on vacation. Thieves gravitate to tourist areas because they know that rental cars are usually packed with valuables, including iPads, cameras, jewelry, etc., nestled inside the luggage. Even though most tourists place their valuables in the trunk, supposedly away from temptation, there are plenty of brazen thieves out there that have no problem punching out a keyhole, prying open the trunk or even break windows to grab (referred to as “smash and grab”) anything within easy reach. What all this means is that it’s important to be even more aware of your actions when traveling. Moving belongings/valuables into the safety your accommodations as soon as you arrive is one of the first things you should do when you reach your destination.
Always completely close all of the windows (don’t forget the sunroof) and lock all the doors. Even during the hot summer months, dealing with a hot car for a short time is better than having your car broken into. It’s also important to lock the car doors while you’re driving. It’s a fact that thieves have actually been known to grab items that are within easy reach on the seats when drivers stop at a traffic light, etc., especially if they’re driving a convertible.
You can lessen the chance of an auto break-in by parking your car in a highly visible, well-lit area. Parking your vehicle in a remote, dim area in a parking garage or lot will make it an easy target.
If you notice questionable activity, find another place to park. If you’re feeling uneasy, report your suspicions to local police. You may be helping keep others from ending up a victim of a car break-in or even worse.