Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle

Updated July 02, 2019

Did you know up to a quarter of thefts from vehicles nationally are from unlocked cars?

The weather outside is heating up and so are the number of burglaries from vehicles.  I’m sure you have heard this saying before, “Don’t leave valuables in your car.”  So, do you actually follow this rule?  For those that don’t, you might find yourself a victim of a vehicle burglary like these Roseville residents:

  • An unknown suspect burglarized two vehicles at Tahoe Joe's. A purse was stolen from one vehicle and a laptop was taken from the second vehicle.
  • Unknown suspects smashed the victim's vehicle window and stole a backpack that contained multiple items.
  • An unknown suspect stole $2,000 in cash and other items from the victim's vehicle at the Sunsplash parking lot.Car in front of open garage
  • An unknown suspect(s) gained access to the victim's locked vehicle. The suspect(s) stole property from inside the car and then opened the victim's garage using the garage door opener. The suspect(s) also stole property from inside the garage. The total amount taken was over $950.
  • An unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and stole his company issued laptop from the rear seat. Estimated loss: $1,350.

What did all these victims have in common?  They all left valuables in their vehicles.  Many left their valuables in plain sight.  You can reduce the chances of someone breaking into your vehicle by following some simple tips.

  • The best rule is to leave all valuable at home.  However, this may not always be practical.  Therefore, do not leave any “bait” out for thieves to see.  A thief may perceive that backpack or gym bag as hiding something of value, even though it may contain your first grader’s homework or your workout clothes.  Additionally, make sure to stow your electronics and any accessories well out of sight or bring it with you.  Hide power plugs, iPod adapters, and GPS mounts.  Do this before arriving at your destination.  Criminals could be watching. 
  • Lock your doors.  This may seem like a “no brainer,” but did you know up to a quarter of thefts from vehicles nationally are from unlocked cars?  Get in the habit of double checking your door locks. 
  • Park for visibility.  Park in busy, well-lit areas.  Try to avoid concealment from larger vehicles, fences, or foliage.  The more visible your car is, the greater the chance that someone might see a criminal breaking into it.  Thus, a thief will be less likely to target your vehicle for a break-in.
  • Don’t leave that garage door opener in your vehicle.  If someone does burglarize your vehicle, that garage door opener can be used for a home burglary.  Smaller garage door openers can be purchased at your local hardware store or on the internet and can easily fit into your purse or pocket. 
  • Keep it tidy.  Almost any worthless personal item that's visible from the outside, even an empty shopping bag, could be seen as a valuable or a carrier of valuables. If you have a wagon or SUV that leaves your cargo area on display, consider getting a cover. Most of these vehicles can be fitted with inexpensive retractable covers to help keep shopping bags or other belongings out of sight.
One of the worst feeling you can have is getting back to your vehicle and finding the window smashed and some personal belongings taken.  Even if your insurance covers the damage, the hassle of getting the window fixed and the items replaced can be time consuming.  Additionally, your insurance will no doubt increase.  So take some time before you leave your vehicle to lock those doors and hide your valuables.