Lock It or Lose It

Lock It or Lose It

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:

  1. Don’t leave valuables in your car in plain sight or slightly hidden; lock them in the trunk.
  2. Always lock your car when you leave it; even in front of your house.
  3. Once home, unload your valuables immediately.  Do not store valuables in your car any longer than necessary.
  4. 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.
  5. Try to park in busy, well-traveled areas and well lighted areas; be aware of your surroundings.
  6. 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.
  7. Don’t use hide-a-keys; thieves know the best places to find them.
  8. Don’t think your dark, tinted windows hide your valuables.  Thieves often use flashlights to see through tint.
  9. 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.
  10.  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.

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