Vehicle theft and car break-ins are on the rise in New England. In fact, Connecticut alone has seen a 42% rise in vehicle thefts and break-ins over the last year. Many residents have grown concerned about the waves of car-related crimes and wonder how to keep their vehicles safe.
Reports show that these crimes are considered opportunistic, rather than planned in most cases. This means thieves are on the prowl specifically for unlocked or isolated vehicles. They are unlikely to commit the crime if they can clearly see that the area is monitored by video surveillance, or if there is an evident alarm on the car. Instead, they will move on to a more vulnerable vehicle.
There are many things you can do to protect yourself from car theft or vehicle break-ins. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways below.
1. Keep you car locked and fully secured
It’s not enough to lock your car. A window left rolled down a mere centimeter can be enough to attract a car thief. To protect your car, you need to check every door, window, and the trunk before you walk away. This ensures there is no easy point of entry for an opportunistic carjacker.
2. Remove all valuables
Some choose to simply hide valuables in the glove box, trunk, or center console. While this “out of sight, out of mind” approach may work some of the time, it doesn’t work when the car itself is the target.
Thieves will steal a car without a care for what’s in it if they find the car itself to be of value to them. To combat this, your safest bet is to remove the items from the car completely. Then, if your car itself is the target, you won’t have to suffer the loss of the belongings as well.
3. Park in the garage, not the driveway
Don’t leave your car in your driveway. Instead, park in your garage. That extra barrier between your car and a thief will likely cause them to move on to another target. If you must park in the driveway, make sure you have video surveillance around your home or business to help dissuade potential car thieves.
4. Put bags in the trunk before you park
If you plan on parking your car somewhere and leaving any of your belongings inside the car, make sure that you put them in the trunk ahead of time. If you transfer your items to the trunk after your park, people may see that you are putting valuables there and then leaving them in the car.
When you place items in the trunk after you park, your car becomes a target for thieves. Burglars know how to pop a trunk lock open even with an alarm. They will easily do so and steal your belongings.
So place any valuables in your trunk before you head to your next location. This way, no one looking to snatch valuables from cars will suspect that you have anything in your trunk at all. Some cars with trunk space visible from the outside, such as hatchbacks, may come with a cover that can be used to conceal the contents. It’s a good idea to use this when possible, too.
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