Imagine you’re heading out to your car in the morning to head to work and you start noticing something suspicious. As you near your car you start seeing the tell-tale signs of something suspicious; broken pieces of glass on the ground, open doors, rummaged belongings, or worse – your car missing altogether. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of auto thefts in 2020 totaled 873,080, a 9.2% increase compared with 2019.
When you leave your car unattended, your car may be at risk to theft and break-ins. The most common advice given to vehicle owners is to either hide your belongings from plain view or take them with you when you leave. Valuables in plain view makes your vehicle a target for theft and break-ins. You may also want to park your vehicle closest to the store where there are more witnesses to deter crime. Avoid parking in dark areas of the parking lot or down side alleys where visibility is diminished.
The simplest thing you can do to protect your vehicle from getting broken into is to lock your doors and roll up your windows. Make sure to engage your car alarm before leaving.
When at home, park in your garage or closest to your home. Avoid parking away from your home or out of site. Lock your doors and windows, and remove all valuables. It’s a good idea to install surveillance cameras or a motion detector for your driveway. Studies show that installing cameras and sufficient lighting play a role in deterring theft or crime. A great addition to home defense is to own a dog that will alert you of strangers or guests arriving to your property. If your home is behind a fence, make sure the gate is closed and secured with a lock to prevent anyone from entering.
Job sites or work areas where company fleet vehicles are stored can also be at risk for overnight break-ins. Quite a few of our clients have had issues of trespassers entering their property and either vandalizing or breaking into their fleet vehicles. Business owners may want to consider reinforcing the fencing that surrounds their yard. Instruct the last person who leaves the property locks every gate and checks for gaps or damage to the fence. Install a camera system in key places around the yard to minimize blind spots. Many businesses with enclosed yards utilize guard dogs to protect the property in their absence.
Some business owners consider hiring security guards to observe and protect their property. Security guards are a great deterrent for crime and can provide real-time reporting on top of patrols. Additionally, they can check gates or blind spots to reduce the likelihood of crime and trespassing. If needed, they can alert the authorities if a crime takes place and remain on scene until the owner arrives.