Nationwide Auto Insurance Company recently published a report detailing several ways to avoid car break-ins. We thought you might find this information helpful to reduce the chances of a break-in.

Protect Your Property by Taking the Following Steps to Avoid a Break-In:

  1. Avoid eye appeal. Criminals scout for oppurtunities: they look for purses, phones, iPods, computer bags, shopping bags, etc. that can be seen from the window of your car. Also, don't forget to hide your wallet and mail! You don't want to also have your identity stolen, or give them the address to your home. Nice car = Nice house. Two out of every five people don't hide their valuables.
  2. Leave no trace. Even if you stash the valuables, don't forget to hide the accessories! Plugs, adapters and suction-cup mounts on your windshield need to be hidden also.
  3. Hide it before you drive. Law authorities say thieves stake out parking lots of retail areas. They look for people stashing items in their trunks. If you need to hide personal items such as your computer, do it at home before you get to the shopping center.
  4. Stay visible. Park where there is a lot of traffic and in a highly visible location.
  5. Turn it off. One-third of drivers admit they have left their car running, either to heat it up, or to run a quick errand.
  6. Choose your next car with safety in mind. Before buying your next car, visit the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and check the list of favorite cars that thieves like to steal. Many cars now come with auto-theft devices.
John Cole Gayle, Jr.
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Consumer Law Pioneer and Co-Author of Virginia's Lemon Law