Although it’s not something we like to think about, thousands of people deal with car break ins every year. According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, an estimated 2.8% of Aussie households experienced theft from a motor vehicle in the twelve months prior to being interviewed. Theft from a motor vehicle most commonly occurred at the person’s home, out on the street or another open space.
Thankfully, it’s less likely for your entire vehicle to be stolen during a car break in; but thieves will help themselves to any valuables in your car.
Items commonly swiped from cars during break ins include:
- Money, including loose coins
- Purse, wallet or handbag
- Sporting equipment
- Mobile phones and electronics
- CD’s, sunglasses and jewelry
While most of us are mindful about the security of our car, it’s easy to become complacent. People who break into cars are opportunistic and will take any chance they get to steal your unattended items. It pays to be vigilant and prepared for what to do if it happens to you.
What to do if your Car Has Been Targeted
It can be disheartening, frightening and inconvenient to have your car targeted by thieves. If you are a victim of this crime, try not to panic. Follow these steps to handle the situation and you’ll be back on the road in no time:
- Report it to the police as soon as you notice the break in. Depending on the level of damage and value of the stolen property, they may come out to your location, or you may need to visit the station and make a statement. If you have to file an insurance claim, you’ll need to ensure you have completed this step
- If your wallet or purse was stolen, cancel your stolen cards immediately and order replacements. Your bank should be able to monitor your accounts for suspicious activity
- Record the damage in as much detail as possible. Take photos and document all items that have been taken, as well as the damage done to your car to assist with any insurance claims
- Protect your car from future break-ins by moving it to a more secure location if possible
Damage Caused by Break Ins
Not only do you stand to lose valuables during a car break in; but your vehicle can be damaged and left out of action as well. Thieves will attempt get into your car any way they can to access your valuable items – and you’ll be left to deal with the repairs.
People often assume that just because their car is locked it is safe. However, it’s surprisingly very easy for thieves to smash a window and take whatever they like from your vehicle, with little concern for the mess they leave behind. They often carry small hammers or other similar items that easily shatter windscreens and car windows, so they can gain access. Sometimes locks are forced open too, leaving you with damage that needs to be repaired, and an insurance claim to file.
6 Ways to Limit your Chances of Being a Victim
Unfortunately, car break ins are not completely preventable. But the good news is you can limit your chances of it happening to you by taking some preventative measures.
Follow these simple steps to ensure your car and your valuables stay safe:
- Always lock your car and close all windows before leaving your vehicle, and take your keys with you. Hiding your keys in your car is not a good idea as thieves usually know the places to look for them
- Take all valuables with you when you leave your car, even if you’re only going to be a few minutes. Thieves are opportunistic and don’t need much time to steal your belongings
- Park in well-lit areas or secure car parks whenever you can
- Avoid transferring valuable items to your car or boot while you’re out. Always consider someone might be watching you
- Try not to leave your car unattended for long periods, such as days or weeks. If you’re going away, leave your car somewhere secure or have someone check on it for you.
- Consider installing a car alarm for the ultimate peace of mind
Protect your Car
While car break ins are oftentimes unpreventable, you can take some simple measures to help protect your car and your belongings. Always secure your vehicle and keep your valuables out of sight to help lower the risk.
A way to stop thieves from looking into your vehicle is to consider getting tinted windows. Tinted windows prevent eyes from seeing the contents of your car and can reduce the risk of your belongings getting stolen.
If the unthinkable does happen to you, contact the police and document all damages and items stolen as soon as possible. Be prepared and proactive when it comes to car security, and you’ll reduce the chances of falling victim to the inconvenience and awful feeling of a car break in.
Novus Auto Glass specialise in windscreen repair technology and strive to provide you with the best possible care for your car. Other services include windscreen repair and replacement as well as glass restoration and polishing. Contact us online or Call 13 22 34. We’re here to help.