Are you asking thieves to break into your car?

At many shopping centers, parking garages, and other locations where people park their vehicles, a familiar sign gives warning to patrons: “Lock your car and take your valuables. Owner not responsible for theft or damage to your vehicle or its contents.” Do you heed the warning or blow it off thinking that it won’t happen in your neighborhood or to your vehicle?

Property owners know all too well that thieving scourge lurk in the shadows of their parking grounds. They may not always be present and they hide their identities when they are, but when thieves strike, they cause grief for vehicle owners who didn’t suspect their cars were tempting targets.

Anyone who drives a vehicle should know the potential threat that exists when their vehicles are targeted for attack by criminals. It could be in any neighborhood, any parking spot, any size city, and it could even be your vehicle. Your vehicle isn’t immune to temptation by criminals, and unless your heed the warning in the message above, your vehicle could be next on a criminal’s list.

To avoid finding your car in a damaged state with your valuables missing, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Always lock your car doors. Whether you’re leaving your vehicle for “only a minute” or for several hours, experienced criminals don’t need much time to take what they want from your vehicle.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle. If a criminal sees something tempting inside your vehicle, a locked door won’t stop someone determined to obtain it.
  • Don’t stash something in a hiding place inside your vehicle when you park your car. As stated earlier, criminals lurk in the shadows, and you may never spot a thief near you, but that thief may have you under observation. Once you leave your car, the thief may break inside it just to see what you were hiding.
  • Park in well-lit areas when possible. In most circumstances, thieves don’t wants to be observed performing their work. The darker the working conditions, the greater the chance a thief can escape the scene of the crime without detection.
  • Avoid parking in potentially dangerous areas. If you’re uncomfortable with where you’re parking your car, don’t park there. Your gut may know something about your surroundings your conscious mind does not.

Always keep safety in mind when parking your vehicle and take precautions to make your car as uninteresting to thieves as possible. Also, if you see a sign that warns vehicle owners to lock their doors, that sign was placed there for a reason. Learn from the past mistakes of others who have parked there before you and heed the warning.