We came across a post on Facebook about an alleged break-in that resulted in the robber gaining access to a garage door opener through an unlocked car in Dartmouth.
Just in case we get some more of these shady characters on the Southcoast, here are a few tips to prevent this from happening to you. While none of these tips from CNN is 100% guaranteed to prevent break-ins, it is important to remember that doing these every day decreases the risk.
It's common sense, yet we hear about it all the time. I myself am sometimes guilty of forgetting to do the most basic practice of locking up before walking away.
A thief could see that useless, empty shopping bag in your car and think there's something valuable inside. By keeping your car free of trash or miscellaneous items, a thief has less of a reason to snoop inside. The interest subsides. Because of my Type A personality, I actually have a mini trash can in my car. I find it's easier to get rid of the junk and not worry it.
Hide evidence of valuables
If you have an expensive smartphone, odds are you have a charger in your car. Make sure that and all other accessories are out of sight. Never leave a valuable like a computer or tablet inside either. I know someone who had almost a thousand dollars worth of power tools stolen out of his truck. Don't let this be you!
If you got it, don't flaunt it
I am the worst when it comes to this. I will drive to the mall after shopping somewhere else and then store my purchases in the trunk before going inside. It's like a giant billboard saying, "Come and get it!" Someone could easily be sitting in their car waiting for me to walk away before heading for the trunk to claim their prize. Especially for the holiday season, be sure to stash everything in the trunk before driving and parking somewhere else.
Close all windows completely
Not only could someone reach through the gap to open the lock with a door hanger, but the pressure sensor could be disabled in a car alarm. This leaves a car vulnerable and gives the bad guy more time to steal your stuff, or the whole car.
Plus, if you live in Dartmouth, you know that those beach stickers are BIG deal for local thieves. Even with the scanner, don't let your car be the next target. Roll those windows UP!
Speaking of alarms, get one. "Factory-option alarm systems are generally best, but a carefully installed, properly calibrated aftermarket system can provide just as much safety."
Nothing better than the original
When it comes to an audio system, stick to the car's original equipment. Something flashy and brand new could spark interest in a thief looking to make a quick buck on speakers and such.
Park where people can see your car
A car thief is less likely to try to take your vehicle if your car is clearly visible in every direction. Simply because the chance of being seen committing the crime are greater than if your car is covered by a bigger car, fence, or foliage, etc. Also, park in a well-lit area.
Don't make it easy for them
"Steering wheel locks, steering column collars, or brake pedal locks may discourage the would-be thief from breaking in and trying."
Not one of these tips are 100% guaranteed to prevent a break-in or theft, but using a combination of any or all of them could greatly decrease your risk.