Every year during the holiday season, your risk of vehicle theft and vandalism increases because, during the holiday months, many people drive around with valuable gifts in their cars, luggage from recent trips and items ready to be returned to their local store. This makes the season the perfect time for someone to break into your car and steal all that you’ve got lying within, or to take your car itself.
There are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of vehicle theft and damage and keep the holiday season (and post-holiday return season) joyous and as low-stress as the season itself will allow.
- Do not leave valuables in your car. This is an easy one—and something that should be practiced year round. Leaving valuables in your car, what with its big, see-through windows, is like sending an engraved invitation to a thief. Keep your valuables at home or on your person. This includes shopping bags. If you can’t take them with you in between trips home, then at least leave them locked in the trunk where they can’t be seen and are less likely to encourage someone to try a smash and grab.
- Park in well-lit, populated areas. If someone is going to break into your car and steal something, or hotwire your car in order to drive it away, they are not going to want to do that when they are in full view of passersby. Try to park in populated, well-lit areas of parking lots. Avoid parking next to bushes and shrubs and choose to park under street lights as often as you can.
- Employ an anti-theft device. It doesn’t matter if you choose a car alarm, live monitoring device or a steering wheel clamp; just choose some sort of anti-theft device to dissuade would-be thieves. Alarms and clamps don’t stop anyone from stealing your car, but they do make it harder to do so. Just one simple alarm could make your car the one that the thieves pass over.
- Lock your doors. It sounds so simple, but many people forget to lock their doors when they are in the midst of running errands, especially during the busy holiday season. Removing this simple barrier to entry makes it that much easier and quicker for thieves to steal your vehicle—which makes your vehicle that much more appealing.
- Do not approach someone in the process of breaking into a car. Do not try to be a hero if you see someone breaking into your car or someone else’s. Instead, go back inside the store or building you came from and notify security. If there is no security there, use a phone to call the local authorities and let them handle it. If they are too late to prevent the theft, just give them the details about the car, thief and the direction you saw them leaving in.
It’s easy to take a couple of extra steps to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of auto theft or vandalism. Even in the midst of the busiest season of the year, finding the time to practice them regularly will ensure that you don’t get stuck without a car—or presents—later on.
Call us at 215-493-4170 for a free auto insurance quote in Yardley, Newtown, Bensalem or Levittown.