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Avoid these mistakes that car burglars look for when targeting potential victims

When was the last time you checked if your vehicle was safe from car theft? Even if you live in a quiet neighborhood, there’s always a chance that car burglars will attempt to steal items from your car. (h/t to

Don’t be an easy target

Bernie Carr of shared several tips that you can follow to avoid car theft, which includes factors that burglars use to choose potential targets. This information is based on a statement released by a local constable from Carr’s neighborhood, which was the location of several car break-ins.

  1. Easy to break into – According to the constable’s report, a lot of the break-ins were crimes of opportunity. Some victims admitted that their cars were left unlocked or that they parked in a dark area away from heavy foot traffic or behind some bushes. (Related: Pro tips: Simple ways to keep your home safe from burglars.)
  2. Leaving items in plain view – Break the habit of leaving things in plain view as you exit your car. Thieves will zero in on belongings that you regularly leave in your car, like grocery or shopping bag in the back seat, running shoes, or tools. Being forgetful might cost you several hundred dollars in car repairs.
  3. Nice surroundings – Reports revealed that car thieves often target apartment complexes that seem upscale. Even if think you live in a safe neighborhood, burglars might still think that your car is worth looting.
  4. Vehicles with specific stickers – Some thieves will target vehicles that bear stickers that link the owners to the fire department, law enforcement, military, or the police. Car burglars believe vehicles with these stickers hide weapons that they can steal and sell. Cars with National Rifle Association (NRA) stickers were also targeted.

How to prevent car theft

Take the necessary precautions to deter car burglars.

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  • Always park in a well-lighted area.
  • Be mindful of any clues that may attract burglars to your your car, like stickers that reveal your affiliation with certain groups.
  • Close all your windows, including the sunroof.
  • Do not leave anything in plain view.
  • Keep an eye on your car keys at all times, especially when you’re in a crowded area. When pickpockets target male drivers, they often aim for the trouser pockets near your dominant side, or your right-hand pockets where you tend to keep your keys. For the ladies, thieves know that you keep your keys somewhere in your handbag. Change your habits to deter pickpockets.
  • Lock your doors, even if you’re in your own driveway or apartment parking lot.
  • Park next to a same-sized or smaller vehicle and avoid bigger cars that will give thieves enough cover as they try to loot your car.
  • Preppers may keep guns in their cars for safety reasons, but thieves tend to target weapons which they can resell or use for other crimes. If you do carry a gun in your car, take it with you when you leave. If you’re headed for an area where weapons are prohibited, secure your weapon in a lockbox that fits under your seat, in the trunk, or is welded to the frame of your vehicle.
  • Protect your car with other security devices like a Lo-Jack or another tracking system, steering wheel locks, etc.
  • Turn on your alarm system when you leave your car.

Keep these tips in mind to avoid car theft at all times. Find more tips on personal security at

Sources include:

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