Thief sees purse in carDid you know that on average each year, $1.26 billion in personal items and accessories are stolen from vehicles in about 1.85 million thefts?  For every theft, experts estimate there are several break-ins where nothing is taken, not to mention the number of attempted break-ins. We’ve told you before that tinting the windows of your car, van, truck or SUV can help by hiding what potential thieves can see. This month, we wanted to give you several other suggestions (along with window tinting) to implement to keep your valuables safe and your car unharmed.

Lock your doors

While this piece of advice should be a no-brainer, up to a quarter of vehicle thefts are from unlocked cars, according to some law enforcement agencies. Even if you’re running into the store for a Coke, that’s too long to leave your vehicle’s contents open for the taking. Simply locking the doors will deter those who might just be waiting around for an easy target.

Keep it tidy

Almost any worthless personal item that’s visible from the outside (even an empty shopping bag) could be seen as valuable. If you have a wagon or SUV that leaves your cargo area on display, consider getting a cover. Most of these vehicles can be fitted with inexpensive retractable covers to help keep shopping bags or other belongings out of sight.

Conceal all the evidence

Don’t leave any bait out for thieves; stow your electronics and accessories well out of sight or bring it with you. The evidence alone might be enough to pique the interest of thieves, so hide that too, including power plugs, telltale iPod adapters, or nav-system windshield suction-cup mounts and even put the cigarette lighter back in place.

Stash before, not after, you park

Get in the habit of putting shopping bags in the trunk right when you return to the vehicle, rather than after you park at the next place. According to National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) spokesman Frank Scafidi, thieves sometimes linger in busy parking lots looking for valuables being moved out of sight. Don’t display to them what you have.

Completely close windows and sunroofs

It’s tempting, especially during the summer months, to leave the window or sunroof cracked to keep the heat from building inside the car when parked, but even the smallest opening can allow a thief the opportunity to get inside your car.

Get an alarm

If you don’t have an alarm system, consider getting one. The noise alone may be enough to scare away an inexperienced thief and prevent the break-in. Factory-option alarm systems are generally best, but a carefully installed, properly calibrated aftermarket system can provide just as much safety.

Park in high-visibility areas

Park in a busy, well-lit area and avoid concealment from larger vehicles, fences or foliage. Except for the most brazen of thieves, the greater the chances are that someone might see a crime in progress, the lower the chances are that the potential thief will attempt it.

Of course you know we have to remind you, to help “conceal” what’s in your car, adding a quality window tint can make it very difficult for a thief to notice if you have anything worth stealing. Most entering auto reports are the typical smash-and-grab robbery. Take away the temptation and you’ve immediately removed the majority of instances where your vehicle becomes the target. If you’ve always wanted to get your windows tinted but didn’t know the process, come by The Suntamers (in Cartersville or Rome) and we will give you a no-pressure overview of our products, our experience and the benefits of adding automotive tint to your car. Call us today at 770-386-6170.