Monday, August 8, 2016

It's a Steal

Breaking into cars is still a fairly common crime. Here are some of the things that get stolen:

  • GPS (hint: remove and take the device with you, also remove the suction cup holder, and if possible get a bean-bag type holder: thieves can see the round mark from the suction cup on your window and will know it's probably under the seat or in the glovebox)
  • DVD players
  • Laptop Computer-some people actually leave these in plain view on the seat of the car
  • Purses
  • Backpacks
  • Car stereos that are easy to pull out
  • Cell phones
  • Video gaming components

  • Tools
  • Newly purchased items from the back of a pickup truck (such as large screen TVs)
  • License plates and tabs
  • Vehicle title papers
  • Garage door openers
  • Thieves not only want the GPS to keep or re-sell. If you have a garage door opener clearly visible, such as on a sun visor, and a GPS or any document in your car with your address, all a thief would have to do is go to your address, use the opener, and gain access to your house. Simple.

Consider setting the 'Home' on your GPS to a nearby location rather than your actual home. Another idea: Use the local police department's address.

There's a new device thieves have to unlock cars, and it's got police stumped:

*Another suggestion, this one from a local bank: Do not have your driver's license number or phone number printed on your checks. Thieves will take your checkbook, call you and report they have found it and say they'll meet you somewhere nearby to give it to you. While you drive to get it, the thieves are at  your house breaking in. If they have a drivers license number, they might try opening a credit card in your name.  Also, consider never having the checkbook with you, but instead, leave it secured somewhere at home. How often do you write checks these days?
                              Smile!! We're taking your picture.

*Consider etching an identifying number on your items such as tools. Obviously, this would not be your Social Security Number, phone number, or anything of use to a thief. Then take pictures of the items showing the etched number. If they are stolen but are recovered, you have proof that they were yours.

*Thieves have also been known to remove wheels and tires, 3rd-row seats, and even air bags. Yes, air bags. 

Triogenius got to wondering which cars are stolen most often. What a surprise to learn that it isn't an expensive Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes, or even  a loaded Corvette or Mustang. While those cars are stolen, look at what CNN gave as the most commonly stolen cars:

10. 2004 Toyota Corolla
9.   2002 Ford Explorer
8.   1994 Accura
7.   1994 Chevy Pickup
6.   2000 Dodge Van (!)
5.   2004 Dodge Pickup
4.   1997 Ford F150 Pickup
3.   1991 Toyota Camry
2.   1995 Honda Civic
and the #1 car stolen in the U.S.:
   1994 Honda Accord.             -Source: CNBC online

....because they are easy to get into quickly. With older cars, a door lock means they still have little plastic pieces by the windows that can be popped up to unlock the door. Newer cars don't have them.

                           If a pigeon can do this........

Another reason for these cars being stolen so often has to do with the fact that older cars have less anti-theft measures installed, as well as the fact that they were really popular, so it's easy to take parts off one and sell, or use them to build a 'new' car.

Keep in mind these tips to avoid car theft:

  • Do Not Leave The Keys In The Ignition. This is high on the list of how cars are stolen. Why invite a thief and make it simple for him?
  • Don't leave the keys in the car anywhere.
  • Keep the car locked at all times, even when you are in it, and even when you 'just run in' to a store or the gas station. Lock it. Always. And for heavens sake bring your children with you, no matter how quick a trip you're making in and out of a store.

  • Keep your windows up when you leave the car.
  • Don't leave items laying out on the seat of the car which may be enticing. Even a bag with unknown contents might be enough inspiration for someone to break in and take it. Put your purchases in your trunk and lock it.
  • Don't leave the keys in your car or leave it running while you 'just run in for a minute' to get something.
  • Don't leave your spare key anywhere that's easy to find.
  • Park where there is a bright light so that thieves would be visible and not hidden

Have a great week!!!

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