Preventing a car smash-n-grab

A few weeks ago, the car of a friend of mine was broken into while we were attending a charity committee meeting at a restaurant, then yesterday I received an alert from a Portland restaurant I frequent with a warning about vehicles in their area being targets of “smash and grab” theft.  These events prompted me to revisit the subject of a previous blog, how to protect your car from being burglarized.

Use the locks
Most prowlers are looking for the path of least resistance and an unlocked car serves up a temping target.  No matter how quick you expect to return to your car, always, always, always lock the doors.

Clean up your act
Something that has little or no value to you (an empty Nordstrom bag, an old pair of hiking boots) may not appear worthless to someone outside your car.  Remove unused items and hide any items you choose to keep in your car.

Don’t dangle bait
Hide electronics AND their accessories.  When car prowlers see things like phone chargers cords, iPod adapters and windshield suction cup mounts as evidence electronics may be in the vehicle, but just out of view.  Every time you park, either hide these items or take them with you.

Timing is everything
Don’t wait to hide items you plan to leave in the car AFTER you park.  Car prowlers troll busy parking lots for opportunities and you don’t want one to see you stash a collection of items in the trunk before you walk into a restaurant for dinner.  Instead, stow items in their respective hiding places when you get in the car.

Make a tight seal
Close all windows and other potential entry points.  A slightly cracked window or sun roof leaves the car vulnerable and can even compromise a car’s alarm system.

Be alarming
If you have a car alarm system, use it.  If you don’t, get one.  Again, burglars are looking for the path of least resistance.  Obvious indicators of a car alarm will deter most.

Friend the factory
An “aftermarket” stereo system is far more valuable to a prowler than the factory system.  If you can make friends with the system originally installed in your vehicle, you’ll reduce your risk.

Go into the light
Look for well-lit parking spaces in open view of lots of people.  Avoid park near large shrubs or cars larger than yours.  Prowlers want to keep hidden from foot and vehicle traffic.

Just can’t get enough
Put many prevention steps into action, don’t stop with just one.  By putting multiple measures in place you significantly reduce your risk.

Sonitrol Pacific doesn’t provide vehicle burglar alarms, but crime prevention of every kind is important to us.  We live and play in the communities we serve and helping make those communities safer is a priority.