Unlocked Vehicles and Open Garages: Opportunity Knocks
You look after your smartphone and your laptop and for sure, you know where your wallet is all the time, don’t you? You’d never leave any of these valuable items out in plain view, unguarded for even five minutes, would you?
Well, we’re asking because a lot of people are doing exactly that – leaving valuable possessions in plain sight and unguarded… for five, ten minutes, a few hours, even overnight!
Sounds crazy, I know! But the crooks aren’t asking…they know people do it all the time and they never want it to end. But you would never take that kind of chance, would you?
So, stop for just a minute and ask yourself if you’ve ever left your vehicle unlocked? Running into the shop for some milk? Dropping the kids at your Moms’? In the driveway or garage when you get home?
If most crimes are crimes of opportunity, then an unlocked vehicle for a crook is like winning the lottery. And the closer it gets to the holiday season, the worse it is – we’re more distracted, busier with more on our minds and more to accomplish in a rapidly shrinking time frame. And the thieves just keep circling, eyes open for any random opportunity, like the predators they are…
Don’t make these mistakes
There are always stupid criminals but there are plenty of not-so-bright victims too. Police estimates put the percentages at 85 to 90% of all auto burglaries happening to unlocked vehicles.
In one suburb, crooks found nine unlocked vehicles in a single night. But wait! It gets worse… In two of those cases, the villains stole the whole car after discovering the keys in the ignition of one and the keys for another stashed under the driver’s seat… Is it really fair to wave that much temptation at a criminal?
Unlocked vehicles happen so often now that one police department has even got a name for this new wave of auto thieves. They call them door jigglers – crooks that walk around jiggling car doors to find the unlocked ones.
Then there’s the case of the woman who drove to her local mall, parked her convertible, leaving the top down and her laptop on the front seat and was totally stunned to find the laptop gone when she got back to the car!
What about the garage
Then there’s the garage burglary and it happens in any community where a garage is attached to the home. Quick and easy; a garage burglary can be committed in 15 seconds or less and relies on opportunity, usually an open door, to commit the crime. Keep it locked; you’d never leave your front door wide open while you are sleeping, so why leave your garage open
- Be sure that the garage door is locked and lock the connecting door into the house or yard when closing up for the night.
- Keep the garage door closed while working in the yard, don’t give a thief the 15 seconds he needs to steal your stuff.
- Whenever you’re closing your garage door, check that the door is fully down; equipment can malfunction.
- Always store the most valuable items farthest away from the garage doors.
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle, even if it is parked in the driveway, and never ever leave an unlocked vehicle anywhere – not even in the garage.
- If you leave an automatic garage door opener in your car, don’t leave it in the unlocked vehicle and keep it out of sight.
Close the door on garage burglary
Your garage doors are one of the most vulnerable entry points to your home and are often insecure doors. You should treat the door from your garage into your home as seriously as you do your front and back doors. Burglars often prefer garage doors to gain access – once in the garage; they can close the door and break into your house from inside your garage without being seen.
And don’t forget, the garage door can and should be monitored by your home security alarm, just like your other doors are.