Taking Ownership Against Vehicle Burglaries
By: M.O.S.T. Field Team www.MakeOrlandoSaferToday.com
We were recently in a store parking lot when a man pulled into the spot beside us. His front seat was full of packages. Being the busy-body micro-managers of safety we are, we enquired if he was at all concerned with car break-ins in that area. He responded that he was only going to be away a minute and that he would beat up anyone who he caught breaking on to his car. To finish us off, he also said that the complex had security cameras. Well, I guess he told us. He had it all figured out. Except that in real life crooks could be in and out of his car before he knew it. We already knew that if he did catch someone in the act, his chances of resolving it physically were not that high. That’s if he acted at all. You see, many tough talkers freeze when true crisis is underway. As far as the cameras; He had a point. They may deter some folks who don’t want to be identified later. However, it would be unwise to bank one’s security on them. Today’s punks are increasingly less intimidated by cameras because they know the feeds are rarely monitored live.
We know that most folks are not as cavalier about crime as the man we encountered. However, if you take the percentage of people who think as he does, then factor that into a city our size, one can estimate that there are a lot of people in Orlando that crooks would like to cross paths with.
We’ve prepared some tips for those of you who may wish to reduce your risk.
Be aware of your surroundings.
If you feel uneasy parking in a certain spot due to environment or bystanders, don’t park there.
Lock doors. Roll up windows. Use alarm and yes, even the Club.
Use a sunshade, even at night. Crooks prefer to see inside before a break in to assess contents and your security. Deprive them of that !
Ladies, crooks watch restaurant and other lots. If they don’t see you walking in with a strap on your shoulder, they know it means you left your purse in the car. They may have even seen you put it in the trunk. If you plan to do that, do it off-property.
Use parking spots that are well lit and well traveled. A well lit spot in a remote area of the lot is less favorable than a partially lit area close to the door. If possible, park under a camera. Remember that you may enter a place in daylight and exit at night. Break-ins also happen in broad daylight. Don’t let the sun lull you into a false sense of security.
If dining, ask for a seat with a window view of your vehicle. Not romantic, but neither is cleaning broken
glass off of the passenger seat.
The glow of the G.P.S. in your unattended car says “Steal Me” to crooks. Secure all valuables.
Tipping a lot attendant or bouncer may help to put extra eyes on your car.
Never leave a gun unlocked in the vehicle.
Be united. Keep an eye on suspicious activity around other cars. Report suspicious characters.