No-one wants to be a victim of a crime, but it’s important to be prepared in case it happens to you. Carrington College Criminal Justice program  student Felicia tells us what you can do help prevent being a victim of an vehicle break in, and what to do if you find your car has been raided by a thief.
10 Tips to Prevent Car Break Ins
So what can you do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a break-in?
- Always lock your doors – that’s a no-brainer right?
- Close all your windows and the sunroof – another easy fix…
- Whenever possible, park somewhere busy that’s well lit at night. It’s safer for the car, and for you.
- Know where you’re parking; look around and if there are cameras, make sure they’re pointed at your vehicle.
- Don’t leave any electronics or valuables (even bags) in plain sight in the car – put them in the trunk. Even an empty bag, or a bag that’s just filled with papers, could make a thief think there’s something valuable in it.
- Put chargers, adapters, phone and navigation mounts in your glove box. Those are clues for thieves that there may be something more valuable hidden!
- Don’t leave loose change in cup holders, cars get broken into for a lot less than a few bucks of spare change.
- Load valuables in your trunk before you park – thieves linger in parking lots and watch if you’re moving your tablet to the trunk!
- Never hide a spare key on or near the car, you won’t be able to think of a hiding spot that a car thief hasn’t thought of first!
- Having an alarm on your car helps, but how many times have you ignored a car alarm thinking it’s been set off by accident? If you have your alarm synced to your phone or key chain, then you’ll know more quickly if someone is breaking in, and can call the police to the scene faster.
The more alert you are about your surroundings the better. There’s so many things that distract us these days, and that can cause safety problems. Here’s a piece of safety advice from Felicia;
“When you’re walking to your vehicle, you want to make sure you’re not distracted at all. Make sure you’re not playing with your phone, or talking to someone. Look around, make sure no one is following you or watching where you’re going. That will always help you.”
Notice Something’s Off About Your Car?
So you’re paying attention and walking back to your car; you notice something just doesn’t look right… what should you do? First don’t touch anything, then…
- Check the windows – You want to see if a window has been broken, if it has you’ll definitely know that something has happened to it. If not…
- Check for tool marks – If there are tool marks on the side of your door then someone might have broken into your car. If you can’t see a broken window or damage to the door…
- Is the car unlocked? – If you know for sure that you locked it and you come back to find it’s unlocked, then someone could have entered your vehicle.
What Next? Safety First!
If one of those three clues tells you someone has broken into your car, Felicia explains what to do next…
“First off is your safety; you’re going to want to leave the situation, go somewhere safe, and call your local authorities. After you’ve done that, stay away from the car until the police arrive and are able to collect evidence, fingerprints, take photographs. Then you can check for your belongings…”
So as tempting as it maybe to hop in and make sure everything is there, definitely don’t do it! Felicia explains why that’s important;
“If the person that committed the crime actually leaves a fingerprint, and you put your fingerprint over it, then the police can’t collect the print, and you’ll never find the person who took your belongings.”
If you like following clues, and like the idea of a career in security or law enforcement, what are you waiting for? To learn more about the Criminal Justice program at Carrington College, click here.