As the owner of a car, you’re probably pretty protective of your vehicle. You don’t want anything to happen to it – no scrapes or dings on your watch! So chances are you would not be pleased if someone smashed your window and stole your belongings in a blatant break-in.
Since we can’t exactly put our cars in our pockets and take them with us wherever we go, it’s impossible to keep an eye on your vehicle all the time. Smash-and-grabs are, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. Aside from the feeling of utter rage, you’d probably feel pretty violated if someone broke the window of your car. That is your space.
Anyways, we’ve got a few tips to help you prevent a car break-in.
1. Hide your belongings before you get to your destination.
It’s best to stow anything you’re planning on leaving in the car before you arrive at your destination. If you wait until you get there and then transfer your bag or briefcase to the trunk to hide it, a thief could see you move it … and then watch as you walk away and leave the car (and goodies) unattended. But if your treasures are safely stashed before you arrive, no one will be the wiser and you could avoid a break-in. Yes, your home insurance might cover belongings stolen from your car, but you may as well try not to use it.
2. Take your valuables and electronics with you.
Electronics are the jackpot for smash-and-grab thieves. Don’t leave your phone or iPod in the car and especially not in plain sight. Unless it’s impossible, don’t leave any valuables in your vehicle. Take them with you so that they won’t be stolen.
3. Lock the doors and roll up the windows and sunroof.
There’s no reason to make the thief’s job easier. If you leave your doors unlocked or your windows down, you’re inviting a thief to snag your stuff as they casually stroll on by. If you increase the amount of effort it’s going to take to steal from your car, you may prevent a lazy thief from striking. Even if you’ll only be gone for a minute, take an extra second to click the Lock button.
4. Don’t leave chargers and cords in sight.
A phone charger or GPS cord left plugged into the cigarette lighter (that thing that charges your phone) is a big breadcrumb for a thief. Where there is a charger, there could be a phone. And if there’s a chance there’s a phone, you could be painting a target on your car and inviting a break-in.
Pro tip: If you use a GPS that suctions to your windshield, remove the suction cup and wipe away the marks before leaving your car.
5. Keep your car shipshape.
If there are empty shopping bags, papers, or wrappers littering your car, a thief might think that the clutter conceals something they want. By keeping a tidy, neat car you send a message that there’s nothing to see – or steal.
6. Choose your parking spot carefully.
The ideal parking spot is well-lit and located in a well-traveled area. The more likely they are to be caught, the less likely a thief is to smash windows. Avoid parking spots where your vehicle would be concealed from view. This only invites trouble. It’s important to understand the reasons to drive safely, but it’s also important to stay safe when you park your car.
7. Consider a car alarm or other theft deterrents.
The thief who breaks into your car could be trying to steal it. Having a steering wheel lock or collar, or a lock for the brake pedal tells the thief right off that that car isn’t going anywhere. Car alarms are also helpful.
So, those are some things you can do to minimize the chance that your car will be broken into. Be mindful of your situation and take steps to keep your car safe. Your car is a faithful friend…and broken windows are no fun.
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