Whether you park your car in a carport, on the driveway or out on the street, no matter what kind of neighborhood you live in it is essential that you not leave valuables showing inside your vehicle.
Most popular items amongst thieves these days include car stereo units, portable GPS units (e.g. Garmin, Magellan etc), iPods, smart phones, mp3 players, satellite radios, or any other electronic devices. This generation has a fascination with tech gadgets, and sadly the thieves are no different. Also at risk are personal belongings such as wallets, check books, purses, and anything that might contain cash, credit cards, jewelry, or documents which can be used for identity theft.
Of course, the easiest method of deterring a potential thief is sometimes overlooked by a large percentage of motorists. It is estimated that anywhere from 10-20% of people parking in a public area will not lock their vehicle. Many of us assume the best of our fellow man, that on the whole most of us are honest and hard working individuals. while that may be partially true, a criminal element exists in any population, so it is very unwise to leave your vehicle unlocked even if you will be away only a couple minutes.
Locking your vehicle is the first step. The second step is keeping your personal belongings out of plain view. Depending on what the thief can see laying on your seats or in the console, it just may be worth it to them to break in and take your stuff anyway. If you have a use for it, so will someone else. If you will be away from, and out of sight of, your vehicle for more than even a minute in a public area, make sure your personal valuables are stored in some place out of sight, such as the glove compartment, center console compartment, or the trunk.
Thieves can often be smarter than the average bear, however. Hiding away your items out of sight is not a fail-safe measure. A notable example is when a motorist leaves out a clue as to what else might be inside, such as leaving the dash mount or windshield mount of a GPS. When a thief sees this, he knows there’s a high possibly of a good find. Make sure to remove the GPS mounts and put them away, and even wipe off the ring left on the glass to erase any sign it’s in your vehicle.
Sometimes we lose sight of the value of items we have inside our vehicles. You wouldn’t leave large cash bills laying on the seats and dashboard, right? Try to develop the same habit with your belongings. You may see them as simple items, but thieves see dollar signs and only care how much they can get for it at a pawn shop or on eBay. Always secure your personal items somewhere out of sight to help prevent a thief from picking you as their next target.