Imagine stepping outside and seeing broken glass surrounding your car. Your heart stops and you feel a huge knot in your stomach. Break-ins are one of the most upsetting and infuriating crimes to happen to a vehicle owner. After you’ve taken into account what has been taken — which could include priceless items — you then have to go through the painstaking process of making insurance claims to repair your car and replace those stolen items, if it’s even possible to do so. Rather than being a victim of this crime, follow these tips for preventing car break-ins right from the start.
Be picky when you park
Parking in a dark alley is almost never a good idea, and doing so with valuables in your car is just asking for trouble. Thieves will be less tempted to steal from a vehicle that’s parked in a busy, well-lit area like a grocery store lot. If you have to park in a public garage, try to find a spot near a lamp post or as close to the attendant as possible. As stressful as it might be to parallel park in a busy city, this is likely your best option when it comes to street parking. With a constant flow of cars and passersby, a thief is going to opt for a quieter, more out-of-the-way location to steal from a vehicle.
Hide or remove your valuables
This might be obvious for some, but you should always hide or remove valuable items from within your vehicle. If you can’t take something out of the car, store it in the glove compartment, under the seat, or in the trunk or cargo area (as long as it’s covered). Some of the most commonly stolen items include phones, wallets, purses, laptops, and even loose change. And don’t forget to take those empty bags with you! Even though you know it’s empty, a thief might think something valuable is inside and attempt to break in and possibly damage your car just to see what’s there.
Pro tip: Take valuables out of your car before you go anywhere, if possible. That way, you can avoid a potential thief watching you from a distance as you transfer items to your trunk at your destination.
Secure your purchase
You likely spent quite a bit of money on your vehicle and you should protect it as best you can. When you leave your vehicle unattended, always roll up the windows and lock the doors. If your state permits it, opt for window tinting to prevent wandering eyes from seeing what’s inside. Buy a cargo area cover from your local dealer if you don’t already have one. Lastly, whenever you’re away from your vehicle, don’t hide the keys to it anywhere nearby. Thieves will almost always look for a spare key in the wheel well, by your garage, or near your front door under a rock.
With COVID-19 keeping most of us at home, your vehicle is probably not getting as much attention as it usually does. However, when you’re sitting inside working or watching the kids, thieves can still wander around your neighborhood. It’s always best to practice these safety tips — no matter where you are.