Did you know it takes less than 30 seconds to break into a car, grab what’s in plain sight, check the usual hiding places for other items and get away? Less if the car is unlocked, which is a whole lot of what we’re seeing in Santa Clarita.
Last year, Santa Clarita had 535 car break-ins, and over 200 of those were unlocked cars! Car break-ins happen in shopping centers, office building parking lots and even while your car is parked in front of your home.
Auto burglary often can be prevented with a few simple actions. The most important is to lock your car door every time. Take your valuables with you and with these two actions, you’ve just gone a long way in preventing your car from being broken into.
Very few car break-ins are random – the thieves see something in plain sight that’s valuable or hints of possible hidden valuables. Leave nothing in plain sight that might make your vehicle worth investigating by a thief – not even loose coins or a CD and never a purse or cell phone.
Here are 10 easy tips for you and your loved ones to use to prevent a car break-in:
- Don’t leave valuables in your car in plain sight or slightly hidden; lock them in the trunk.
- Always lock your car when you leave it; even in front of your house.
- Once home, unload your valuables immediately. Do not store valuables in your car any longer than necessary.
- If possible, leave no trace or sign that there might be valuables such as docking stations or connector cables. These can end up costing you hundreds of dollars to replace a broken window because the thief wanted to check your car for “hidden” valuables.
- Try to park in busy, well-traveled areas and well lighted areas; be aware of your surroundings.
- Set your alarm or anti-theft device if you have it, it can be an effective deterrent to an auto burglar who likes to choose easy targets.
- Don’t use hide-a-keys; thieves know the best places to find them.
- Don’t think your dark, tinted windows hide your valuables. Thieves often use flashlights to see through tint.
- Just covering a valuable radio or any valuables in your car with something like a blanket or towel will probably only draw thieves’ attention—remove it when possible.
- Don’t forget about your remote garage door opener in your car. That and the registration in your glove box may turn your car break-in into a home break-in as well.
If you see something, SAY something!
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you witness a car burglary or suspect someone is checking out cars for potential theft.