One of the worst feelings in the world is to walk up to your car and see shattered glass all around where your window used to be. Having your personal belongings stolen out of your vehicle can make you feel violated and vulnerable. There is no way to completely stop anyone from breaking into your car, but here are five tips to help prevent car break-ins. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™
1. Keep Things Out of Sight
If you have any valuables, such as an iPod, purse or video camera, store it under the seat or in the glove compartment. Most of the time, thieves are just looking for a quick buck and if they see something they like, they'll smash and grab. You'll also want to put anything that looks like it could contain something valuable, such as a box or briefcase, in the trunk to prevent car break-ins. If the box on your front seat says "Apple Computer, Inc." on it, it doesn't matter what's inside – it looks valuable. Sometimes keeping your car clean will do more than just impress your friends.
2. Get a Detachable Stereo Face
A car thief won't steal a stereo that he can't use. Purchasing a car audio receiver with a detachable front panel will make your stereo useless to any would-be crook. That is, of course, presuming you actually detach the face of the head unit and take it with you. Even if you don't want to carry the face plate with you, detach the front panel and hide it away to prevent car break-ins. Criminals want things quick and easy, so a missing face plate may make them move on to the next car.
3. Keep Your Car Secure
This seems like a no-brainer, but many people don't lock their car when they're "just running into the store" or "they'll only be a minute." A minute is all the time it takes to break into someone's car. Lock your doors to prevent car break-ins. Don't make the thief's job any easier by handing him an open door. Also, make sure to keep your windows rolled up. Your car may get hot, but at least it won't get emptied.
4. Park it in a Public Location
That sweet, little-known spot in the alley in the back may always be open, but it is also quite private – which is perfect for any criminal. Park your car in a high-traffic area where it will be seen by a bunch of people. If you are parking somewhere at night, park your vehicle near a light or in view of a security camera to prevent car break-ins. Once again, criminals want quick and easy jobs, so they don't want a lot of publicity or visibility.
5. Get an Alarm
Most of the time when people think of alarms, they think of the one that accidentally goes off in the parking lot and the owner isn't there to turn it off. Yes, that is annoying, but next time this happens, take notice that there are no car thieves around that noisy car. They want to keep a low profile. These types of criminals will avoid cars if they can see that it is alarmed. Some companies even manufacturer inexpensive products that only make it look like your car has an alarm, which also will help prevent car break-ins.