This article was inspired by an actual event that happened to me just this past week when my own car was broken into. I was parked in a well lit area outside a very nice restaurant in my own town, which boasts one of the lowest crime rates around. It is by all accounts a wonderful city to live in and raise children. However around this time of year when lots of people are out shopping and keep their purchases in their cars or in areas that are known to be frequented by business people who more often than not have laptop computers with them, you will find the number of smash-and-grab style auto break-ins increasing. My own break-in happened at about 6:30pm, not late at night as some would expect.
There are a few things to consider here. One goes back to Proximity, which I’ve talked a lot about in the past. You see, the lot my car was parked in happens to be just a few blocks from a freeway that passes through my town. According to the officer who took my police report thieves come in from other towns via this freeway, get off the exit in our town, hit a few parking lots and break into some cars and then get right back on the freeway and off they go. So, even in a very safe town if you happen to be near a freeway that connects it to other less desirable cities you’re likely to find higher risk of crime than if you were miles away from that freeway.
Another thing to think about is what exactly you store in your vehicle. I recently wrote an article talking about various items I keep in my vehicle. Even though I just had two windows smashed and two backpacks stolen I will stand by that recent article. For one thing, none of the items I talked about in that post were taken. The thieves only wanted the two backpacks I had in the car. One was my everyday backpack that contains my laptop, the other was my bug-out-bag.
What I will consider revising is the list of contents I’ve been recommending for a bug-out-bag. There are two items in particular that I’m thinking of taking off the list. Those would be photocopies of your driver’s license and health insurance i.d. cards. I’m afraid the risk of identity theft may outweigh the usefulness of having these copies with me. Perhaps the answer is to keep these items locked in the glove box. Thieves rarely take the time to fully plunder a car, they seem to prefer a quick smash and grab. In my recent break-in they didn’t even bother to take an expensive pair of sunglasses that were sitting in the center console. I need to think a bit more about this but would love to hear what you all think.