Car break-ins are more common than you’d think! While crime rates have been steadily falling, more than 850,000 car burglaries are reported each year, and more than 700,000 people report stolen vehicles. Meanwhile, police departments across the country are generally only able to solve about 13 percent of burglary cases due to lack of evidence. The best way to keep your car and property safe is to prevent the initial break-in!
1. Lock Your Doors
This tip seems like common sense, but more than 75% of car break-ins don’t involve broken windows or forced entry at all. Make sure your doors are locked and your trunk is secure when you leave your vehicle for any reason – even if it’s just for a short while. Take your keys with you at all times and double-check to make sure your car is secure.
2. Close Your Windows
When it heats up in the summer, we’re all tempted to leave a window cracked to keep the car from feeling like an oven! But even a small crack in your window – or the vent windows near your mirrors – could serve as an open invitation for car thieves and burglars. Make sure all of your windows are tightly shut. If your car has a sunroof, make sure that window is firmly shut, too. Thieves can use long-handled tools and other aids to use a cracked window to unlock your vehicle and gain access to your property!
3. Take Your Garage Door Opener With You
Keep your garage door opener in a purse, pocket, briefcase, or somewhere convenient for you to cary with you. If you leave your garage door opener in your car, a thief or burglar could gain access to your home and make a bad situation much, much worse. Especially if you leave your car in your home’s driveway or parked at the curb in front of your house, make sure to bring your garage door opener inside or to keep it somewhere out of reach.
4. Keep Your Car Clean and Tidy
That might just be an empty supermarket bag in your back seat, but it looks like potential gold to a thief or burglar. Keep your car neat and tidy so that anyone looking for an easy opportunity can’t see anything worth stealing inside your car.
5. Take Valuables With You When You Can
Don’t leave your purse, backpack, or laptop bag in plain view in your vehicle. When possible, gather your valuables into a bag and carry it with you. Thieves are looking for an easy opportunity to make cash from stolen valuables – protect your property by keeping it on your person.
6. Lock Valuables in the Trunk Before You Arrive at Your Destination
Often-quoted advice says you can avoid thieves by locking your valuables in the trunk. While this can be a helpful tactic, make sure you lock those valuables in the trunk before you get to your destination. If a thief or burglar watches you get out of your car and unload your valuables into the trunk, he will know you have something worth hiding and where to find it. So put your brand new items in the trunk before you leave the store for your next destination – not when you arrive!
7. Park in Your Garage or a Well-Lit Area in Full Public View
If you can’t park in a secured garage, find a well-lit area in full public view where you can park your car. You want to make sure your car is easily visible to car and foot traffic to avoid crimes of opportunity.
8. Install a Car Burglary Alarm
Factory-installed audible alarm systems work best – but an after-market system is absolutely better than nothing. Install an alarm to prevent thieves from having unlimited and uninterrupted time to steal your valuables or vehicle.
9. Safeguard Your Personal Information
If someone does break into your car, you don’t want to hand them information about where you and your family members live. Make sure to avoid leaving mail sitting out in your car or carrying personally-identifying keychains. If a thief gets ahold of your keys, you don’t want to give them the information to do you even more harm!
10. Install a Vehicle Immobilizing or Vehicle Tracking System
Many newer cars require SmartKeys to start or have other ignition safeguards that prevent cars from being “hotwired” or started with an unauthorized key. Consider installing one of these systems if you don’t have one already. And if the unthinkable does happen, you’ll be able to recover your vehicle much more quickly with a tracking and recovery system installed in your car.
If the worst-case scenario happens and your windows are damaged as part of a burglary or car theft, come visit the pros at Fast Glass Services! We can help you work with the insurance company and provide fast, reliable repair or replacement services. Contact us today for a quote!