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Vehicle break-ins on the rise
The holiday shopping season is now in full swing, and it would appear that thieves are going to try and take advantage of it. Just this past week, I heard two stories about cars being broken into and expensive merchandise stolen.
One story involves a friend of my daughter. They had purchased a laptop as a Christmas gift from a big-box electronics store, and left it in the back seat of their SUV as they continued shopping. When they returned, the car window had been smashed and the laptop was gone.
Another story is even more insidious. My neighbour was telling me about a friend who bought a Mac desktop and locked it in the trunk of her car. She then drove to a grocery store and went in to do a bit of shopping. When she returned, the trunk of her car had been popped open with a crowbar and her brand new Mac desktop was gone. Perhaps it was simply a fluke that someone picked her trunk and hit the jackpot. But what is more likely is that she was followed out of the store or mall where she bought the item, and the thief simply waited for the right moment to steal her wares.
I don’t have any hard facts on this sort of activity, but during tough economic times thefts in general increase.
So what can we do to avoid this? When I bought my teenage daughter a Mac laptop last year for Christmas it was a huge expense for me. When I left the Apple store, I was clutching that laptop to my chest. I immediately went to my car and drove straight home. I didn’t even go through the bank drive through!! That laptop was going to make it home safe and sound. I know that it is not always practical to go home after each purchase. Perhaps try and plan your shopping trip so that you buy the most expensive items, like electronics, last so that nothing too expensive is left unattended in your car.
Another thing to remember is to always lock your car. That seems to be common sense, but a surprising number of people don’t bother or they forget. Try and be extra vigilant about this especially around this time of year.
Also, don’t leave anything of value visible in your car. Ipods, cell phones, even loose change can be enough to entice someone to break in.
Be aware of your surroundings. Look around you when you make your purchase and when you leave the store.
Hopefully, if you follow these suggestions and use common sense, you will be able to avoid being a target this holiday season.