Tips to prevent vehicle break-ins

Tips to prevent vehicle break-ins

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - Information from a press release from the Bluffton Police Dept.

We have been experiencing a rash of smash-and-grab car break-ins, especially in the area of highway 170. All citizens need to be aware that these types of car-break-ins are becoming more popular. Below is a description and a few prevention tips to avoid car break-ins.
A smash and grab is a form of thievery where the thief has a limited amount of time before he must flee the scene, and so maximizes this opportunity by breaking the glass of a car or a storefront and grabbing as much loot as possible in a single swoop. During 2013, we have noticed that this type of car break-in has become more popular. It takes less than a minute for a thief to break your car window and snatch your iPod, laptop and/or your purse from the front seat of your car. 

1. Keep your car visible
Park in well-lit areas near people or with an on-duty parking lot or garage attendant. Avoid having your car concealed by larger vehicles, fences, or foliage; thieves like to work in private.

2. Don't make it easy
Keep windows and sunroofs closed and doors locked. Almost one-fourth of thefts from vehicles are from unlocked cars.

3. Hide your valuables
Many smash-and-grab thieves act on impulse, so keep your stuff out of sight-either with you or in a locked trunk. Don't count on the glove box; thieves know to look there, and they're easy to break into.

4. Don't hand a thief your keys
Take your keys with you. And if you think you have a great hiding place for a spare key, car break-in thieves know to look above the visor, in the center console, under the floor mat, in the trunk well, etc.

5. Stow your stuff before arrival
Experienced thieves often stake out parking lots to watch for people putting items in their trunk. Help prevent car break-ins by putting valuables like laptops, messenger bags, and electronic devices into your trunk before you get to the parking lot.

6. Stash the evidence , too
After you have put your stuff in the trunk, don't forget such telltale evidence as power plugs, MP3 adaptors, and navigation system windshield suction cup mounts. Thieves know what they are looking for, so hide the electronic accessories, too.

7. Trust your instincts
If you see suspicious activity, find another spot to park. If you're concerned, tell the attendant or report your suspicions to the police. You may be helping keep another person from being a victim of a car break-in or worse.