Theft from locked motor vehicles is estimated to be a bigger problem than what’s reported because most people don’t bother to involve the police, or claim on their personal insurance, when the value of stolen property is relatively low.
But any theft leaves you feeling violated and it’s also inconvenient to have your car repaired and credit cards or stolen objects replaced … that’s if they’re replaceable – they may not be.
Not much will stop a determined thief, but you can do a few things to safeguard your belongings if you leave them in the car:
Put things in the boot
If a thief can’t see your valuables through your windows, they’re less likely to break into the car. A boot can still be jammed open, but its more work for the would be thief so it’s a deterrent. If your boot has a window, if it’s a hatchback for example, make sure the parcel shelf is up or you cover your items with a towel or similar that you keep in your boot precisely for this purpose.
Lock your glove box
If you keep valuables in your glove box, keep it locked. Again, it’s a deterrent for a thief and it will take them time to open. They’re more likely to move on to an easier target.
Deterring opportunistic thieves
Make sure there’s nothing in view for a thief to see. It’s not unheard of for a window to be smashed just for the small change people keep in their console.
Double check you’ve locked your car
If your car is in a lockable garage, it’s fairly safe at night. But many people who live in inner city suburbs, park on the street in front of their house. On any given night, a percentage of people will leave their car unlocked. Thieves scour the streets for easy targets. Always check you’ve locked your car and check again.
Eliminate connections to your home
Don’t leave garage door openers and any information in your vehicle that notes your address. Canny crooks can get access to your home via the garage after breaking into a car and getting the address from your service book for example.
Motor vehicle insurance
Make sure you have appropriate motor vehicle insurance that covers you should you be the victim of your car being vandalised and/or your goods/possessions and even your car being stolen.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to keep your vehicle and possessions safe is to take a proactive approach to security. This includes taking steps such as purchasing a good alarm system for your car, parking in well-lit areas or garages overnight, using a steering wheel lock and ensuring that all doors and windows are locked when you leave the car unattended.
You may also want to consider investing in additional anti-theft devices such as an immobiliser or GPS tracking system, as well as considering insuring any valuable items in your car.
It is also important to be aware of your surroundings at all times when out in public and on the road, by avoiding isolated areas, being conscious of possible distractions such as talking on the phone while walking or driving, and not leaving valuable items unattended in public places.
Car insurance can provide financial protection if you fall victim to theft or damage caused by unexpected events such as fire, vandalism or natural disasters.
Comprehensive motor vehicle insurance covers repairs or replacements in the event that damage is caused to your car due to an accident or a third party’s negligence; while home & contents insurance covers any personal possessions that are damaged or stolen from inside or outside of the home.