Friday, December 19, 2014

Tips for Avoiding Christmastime Car Break-ins

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

click to enlarge Some Grinch busted the window of a staffer's car last night.
  • Some Grinch busted the window of a staffer's car last night.

Heads up folks—'tis the season for car break-ins. Last night, a Source staffer's car got broken into in the Connecting Point parking lot between 7 pm and 11 pm. She told us that one of the glass repair shops she called noted that they'd had multiple calls about break-ins just today.

We called the Bend Police Department to find out just how many cars were broken into last night, but we were told we would need to send a written request and that they wouldn't be able to process that information today. (Either the Bend PD needs to hire more staff or upgrade its computer system.)

Hard facts aside, it's probably not a bad idea to take your valuable items (holiday gifts, phone, wallet, etc.) inside with you, rather than leaving them in the car. Thieves know you're more likely to have good stuff in your car before Christmas, so take extra precautions. Nationwide Insurance offers the following tips to prevent smash-and-grab break-ins. (Read the full suggestions here.)

1. Keep your valuables with your or out of sight. Don't tempt a thief by leaving your new iPhone 6 Plus on the passenger seat.

2. Make them uncomfortable. Unlike moths, thieves are not attracted to bright lights or crowds. Avoid dark alleys.

3. Make them work for it. Roll up your windows and lock your doors.

4. Don't hand them the keys. Whether it's in the ignition (oops) or hidden in your totally top-secret spot, there's a decent chance it will be found.

5. Move personal items ahead of time. If the thief is watching you put your laptop in the trunk, they'll have pretty good idea where to find it once you walk away.

6. Be alert. Don't park in sketchy spots. Don't confront criminals. Call the cops if you need to.

That said, if there's nothing of value in your car, it may be smarter to leave it unlocked. 'Cause it's almost worse to have some jerk-face break your window to steal the only thing in your glove compartment—a pack of stale chewing gum.

Have you had your car broken into this season? What do you do to keep your belongings safe?
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