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Top Tips for Preventing Car Break-Ins

Easy ways you can protect your belongings from theft 

One of the most common forms of theft in the US is “Smash-and-Grab” theft. In these types of crimes criminals don’t steal your car, but they do steal the valuables locked inside. This means that while you’ll be dealing with the psychological pain of being violated, you’ll also need to deal with the costly vehicle repairs and the replacement of your items.

While there’s no way to deter these thieves 100%, there are ways to prevent these opportunistic crimes from happening. Here are our top tips to make it more likely that your car is skipped over.


Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Never leave anything of perceived value in plain sight; this includes things that may look valuable to peering eyes. We suggest keeping items that could be at risk in your trunk or bring them inside your home instead of keeping them in your vehicle overnight.

  • Here are some examples of items that need to be secured:
    • Phones
    • Laptops
    • Purses or Wallets
    • Briefcases or Backpacks
    • Shopping bags (even groceries!)
    • Music players, Wireless headphones, or Bluetooth speakers
    • Cash – even loose change
    • Shipping boxes (hello, Amazon)

Crowds are Great; Light is Greater

Thieves prefer to wear dark clothes and prey on vehicles parked in ‘’sketchy,” dimly lit areas. So, most car thefts happen out of sight away from crowds of people and stadium lights. Be mindful of where you park, especially if you’ll be parked overnight.

  • Park near light poles
  • Look for crowded areas with lots of pedestrian and vehicle traffic
  • Consider paying extra if there’s an option for a parking attendant
  • When you can, park your car inside your closed garage

 Related: How to Drive Safely in the Rain

Discourage Mischievous Behavior

There’s a reason we call them opportunistic crimes – because these criminals spot an easy target and go for it. These thieves are lazy. They want a quick thrill – or maybe a little extra revenue – for as little work as possible. Make it less desirable by:

    • Locking your doors every time you exit your vehicle for any length of time – even at the gas pump
    • Activate your security system if you have one
    • If you’re in or if you frequent a high-crime area, consider after-market measures like steering wheel locks or glass break sensors
    • Never leave your keys in the ignition or inside of your vehicle while you’re not in clear sight – running into the store for just five minutes leaves you very vulnerable

While smash-and-grab thieves rarely take the vehicle they break into; it’s always best to demotivate them from going to the next level.


Our best advice – use common sense and keep a watchful eye on your surroundings and belongings. If your intuition says ‘’bad,” you’re probably right! Remember that theft is usually an opportunity. The less desirable your vehicle looks to these criminals, the less likely you will become a victim. Use these tips to keep your belongings from being stolen, and be sure to share this article with loved ones!


We’d love to hear, what techniques do you use to ward off theft?


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