That Dangling White Cord Could Tempt a Theft
Recently a friend had several car break-ins in his neighborhood. The neighbors were very distressed.
Usually, you want the neighbors gathering for a barbecue grill out or just hanging around the fence and catching up. You don’t want to be comparing horror stories about your home security.
According to FBI, more than 689,527 thefts of motor vehicles occurred nationwide in 2014. More than $4.5 billion was lost nationwide to motor vehicle thefts in 2014 with the average dollar loss being $835. An additional $553 in vehicle accessories were reported stolen, including items such as hubcaps, wheel covers and radios, and even side-view mirrors.
So my friend’s neighbors were concerned that the even though many of their cars are equipped with alarm systems, the thieves are getting smarter.
Frank Scafidi of the National Insurance Crime Bureau says that thieves are now using “scanner boxes” to override keyless entry systems.
It can take a $2 piece of equipment from the hardware store to efficiently shatter a back window. A car alarm doesn’t go off when you break a window, only when you open a door.
Often thieves target cars based on something simple like a dangling white cord. A Jansport bag on the floor of the backseat may be bursting with last week’s dirty gym clothes – or a PS4. Jackets are also a big thing – it could mean a wallet is in the pocket.
Here’s the best way to help prevent car break-ins:
- Always lock your car doors. One of the neighbors who were involved didn’t have her car doors locked. She thought the vehicle was safe since it was in the driveway.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car. Take items – smartphone, tablet, even headphones – with you even if you’re just running into the store for a few things.
- If you have a GPS place them in the glove compartment or under a seat. And it’s even advisable to carry some wet nap wipes in the glove compartment to wipe away the “sticker ring” or suction cup marks as this can alert thieves to a GPS being in the car and tempt them to break-in even though the GPS isn’t visible in the window.
As the neighbors gathered to talk about their recent string of thefts, one neighbor pointed out that he had seen suspicious looking youths walking down the street and peering into vehicles.
It’s always good to file a police report if you discover your car has been broken into. However, don’t move the vehicle before you call the police. Document the scene as it is. You’ll need the police report if you plan to file an insurance claim.
Car break-ins are a hassle to deal with and can be unsettling. But by helping keep a neighborhood watch and taking the above precautions you can add an extra layer of home security.