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Preventing and Coping with Auto Break-ins

Although there is no way to 100% prevent break-ins, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the threat and make your vehicle less of a target. Here are a few tips on how to prevent theft and steps on what to do if your vehicle has been broken into.

 

Preventing a Car Break-In

Hide Your Valuables

Smash-and-grab thieves aren’t criminal masterminds - most are spontaneous swindlers. They see something of value and take it. Make sure all valuables are out of sight; do not leave any of these items lying on your seats, dashboard or floor:

  • Phone
  • Wallet or purse
  • Laptop or laptop bag
  • Briefcase or backpack
  • Shopping bags
  • Headphones
  • Cash
  • Keys

Park Somewhere Visible

Most thieves like to stay hidden; the last thing they want is someone watching them commit their crime. Keep your car visible and park near other people!

  • Although it may seem cumbersome, park in busy lots with a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
  • If you’re going to be gone through the night, park near a lamppost.
  • If you know where one is located, park near a security camera.

Anti-Thief Measures

Thieves are lazy, therefore a few preventative measures can make a big difference.

  • Lock your doors – even in a small town. Theft can happen anywhere!
  • Roll up your windows and close the sunroof when parking.
  • Activate your car’s security system if you have one.
  • Consider window tinting if local laws permit it.
  • Thieves know to look in glove boxes and consoles; don’t use these as mobile lock boxes.
  • Don’t leave your keys in your car.
  • Avoid high crime areas whenever possible.
  • Don’t leave your car running and unattended.


Actions Post Break-In

Document the Scene

Take a few pictures of any damage and make a list of the items that are missing.


File a Police Report

Call the local police station and let them know what happened; they can assist you in filing a police report.

Have these things readily available when filing:

  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Car insurance ID card
  • Photos of damage
  • List of stolen items

Submit a Fraud Alert

If you’re worried about someone stealing your identity, you have the option to place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit record. You can do so by contacting a credit bureau. For more information, look to the Federal Trade Commission.


Freeze Your Accounts

If your credit or debit cards were stolen, freeze your checking account. Log into your your bank account online or contact your bank for further information.


File a Claim

Talk to your local agent to file a claim through Mountain West! $500 of personal property is covered if you have our premier auto insurance.

Any theft that occurs must first be reported to law enforcement.



Sources: Nationwide, NerdWallet

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