Reducing Vehicle Theft and Trespass Risk
Whether you live in a busy city or in a rural county, becoming the victim of a crime is always a possibility. One type of crime that has the ability to affect large portions of the population is vehicle trespass. If you own a car or use a car you could become a victim of trespass. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
- Amazingly a large number of vehicle trespass crimes occur with unlocked vehicles. This is an easy problem to fix, lock your car! Don't make it easy for someone to get into your car. It is possible that someone would break a window to access your car anyway, but if they can just open a door they will probably try that first. If the door is unlocked they will open it and check for valuables. If it is locked, they may just move on to another car.
- My next tip is not to leave valuables in your car, especially where they are visible. I am amazed to hear how many times a wallet or purse was stolen because it was just sitting on a seat or on the floor board of a vehicle. If a thief can see something worth stealing in plain view they are more likely to try and take it. If the door is unlocked it will be easy for them, but even if you lock the door they may feel like it is worth breaking a window because there is something worth stealing.
- Many people assume that anytime a vehicle is broken into that means a window was actually broken or a tool used to gain entry. Breaking a window can be loud and in a parking lot or quiet residential neighborhood that noise may attract unwanted attention. If a thief can gain access without force they will usually try that first. One of my local communities had a rash of vehicle trespasses at night, where small personal electronics and change was taken. One night after a fresh snow the police were able to determine that one or two individuals were being dropped of at the end of the street. They would go house to house checking doors on cars. They only seemed to enter the unlocked cars and steal small items that were plainly visible. These particular thieves did not bother breaking into locked cars.
- Now I know most of us have left items of value in the car at some time or another, I myself have done so. If you have to leave something of value in your car, make sure it is not visible from outside of the car and lock the car. And you especially don't want to leave keys visible in your vehicle. With visible keys the thief now thinks he can get into your can and either steal it, or get into your house as well. If your car is locked and there is nothing obviously worth stealing, few criminals will take the time to break into a vehicle just to search through it for something of value. Especially when the next car they go to will have an expensive GPS unit still attached to the windshield.
This means if you usually leave a GPS unit, MP3 player, stereo or other electronics in your car try to disconnect them and store them under a seat or somewhere they can't be seen from outside the car. If you have a detachable face plate on your stereo remove it and take it with you, or place it somewhere else in the car.
- When it comes to parking, try to find a place near lighting and with plenty of visibility. If you area parking your vehicle at a large parking lot, try to park it near one of the entrances to a store or shop. With more people walking by your car there is a smaller chance that someone would risk breaking into your car to take something.
While there is no guarantee that your vehicle won't be broken into, if you follow some of these tips you will remove some of the elements necessary for a crime to occur and help reduce the likelihood that your car will be picked from the many cars out there.