This is the time of year out in the suburbs when thieves come out and start breaking into cars on a regular basis. It happens every year that someone wakes up to find their window smashed in and their car vandalized and items stolen. Here’s a few tips on helping to prevent car break-ins.
Before I give the tips it should be known that in Houston, Texas, many home owners do NOT park in their garages. We use our garages for storage in lieu of basements. So our vehicles are outside all night exposed to thievery.
1. Leave all of your outside lights on. If you have a porch light that’s good. What’s better is a motion detector light on your garage pointing at your cars.
2. Don’t leave your car on the street if possible. The closer to the house and your outside lights the better.
3. Lock all the doors. I know this one is obvious, but if you have kids or you get busy, you’d be surprised how often one or more of your doors gets left open. The thieves will check.
4. If you use electronic gadgetry in your car, don’t leave it in there and don’t leave in the cables and mounting docks that imply to thieves that your gadget might still be hidden the car. EVERYTHING that is not physically part of the car should be out of sight including power cables and mounting docks. CD’s, headphones, spare change, game controllers, GPS, tools, etc. should all be out of the car or stashed out of sight.
5. Remove all packages from your car. This includes things you may not think about such as a child’s diaper bag, backpack, or sports equipment bag. Thieves will break in just on the chance that there may be something good inside that bag. They often use flashlights to penetrate tinted windows, so never assume they can’t see the bags in the car.
6. A car alarm is a good thing. Make sure you turn it on. Even better is a secondary locking device. In our area, there is danger of truck tailgates being stolen. There are special covers that can be purchased to cover the lock on the tailgate and prevent the tailgate from being removed. As an example, this summer thieves came through my neighborhood and stole 5 tailgates in one night. Layers of security are the best protection.
7. Forget the “Hide-A-Key”. These are easily checked for and located by thieves.
Hopefully these tips will help keep you and your property safe this holiday season.