Thieves are looking for easy targets. If they see laptops, GPS units, cell phones, purses, keys, briefcases, etc. in plain view in your car, they will attempt to steal them. Vehicle owners can deter thieves by following some standard practices:
- Remove visible items from your vehicle. Be aware that someone may be watching as you put a wallet, purse, or cell phone under your seat or in your trunk. Take these with you or secure them in your trunk before you get to your destination.
- Keep your car tidy and neat. Thieves take things you might think are worthless (sunglasses, loose change, CD’s, clothing…) smashing your window in the process.
- Lock up! Lock your vehicle and take your keys, even for quick errands. Lock the trunk, hatchback or tailgate to block access into the vehicle. Close all windows, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs.
- Get an alarm and use it! Many people believe that alarms no longer make a difference, however, they do remain an effective deterrent to a burglar. Remember criminals are looking for the easy target.
- Lock vehicle registration/insurance information in your glove compartment.
- Do not attach personal information to your keys. If your keys are stolen, having your personal information or vehicle license number attached only compounds the problem. A criminal now may have access to your home, automobile or office.
- Do not leave outgoing or incoming mail in your car, especially where visible. This has your name and address on it.
- Avoid leaving a garage door opener in your car if possible.
- At home, park in your garage if you have one. Lock your car and all garage doors. Away from home, park in a well-lit area.
These simple steps should be used whenever you park your car, whether you are just “running in for a minute” or parking for the evening.