Prevent car break-ins
True story: Someone we know (let’s just call her a loyal friend of Don Ayres) recently returned home after a long day and made the unfortunate mistake of leaving an empty cash box between the front seats of her car. “No problem,” she thought. “The cash box is empty, I’m parked in my own driveway, and my car is locked.” But when a thief peeked in her car window the next afternoon (yes, in broad daylight), he couldn’t resist the urge to see what he may have stumbled upon. He smashed her driver’s side window into a million tiny pieces, leaving her a huge mess to clean up – and the expense of a brand new window.
She’s not alone. Thieves steal a staggering $1.2 billion in personal property from vehicles each year. So what can you do to make sure you don’t become the victim of a similar crime?
- Lock your doors — Surprisingly, as many of a quarter of vehicle thefts involve unlocked cars.
- Remove valuables – MP3 players, cell phones and GPS devices are among the things that are most appealing to thieves who want a quick hit.
- Clean up – Have you ever left an empty shopping bag in your car? A would-be thief doesn’t know that it’s empty! Play it safe and remove anything that could appear to be valuable, even if it’s not (case in point: an empty cash box).
- Consider a car alarm – The noise alone might scare a thief into running off before he finds what he’s looking for.
- Park in a visible location – When possible, park in a well-lit area where there are plenty of other cars.