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When Christmas Shopping, Your Car is Not a Safe Storage Space

It’s the holiday season and lots of people are hitting the stores–whether it’s to prepare for parties or purchase presents. Lots more driving (for some), fighting for parking spaces, and leaving presents in the car between stores.

The latter is a bad idea.

I was just browsing the news on when I ran across this piece. It’s just a general reminder of how thoughtless people can be when they’re busy and how dangerous it is to leave stuff in cars.

You think it won’t happen to you, but I spent a third of a year in property management and I saw it a lot. Cars feel safe, somehow. Maybe you have tinted windows and you don’t expect someone to see inside. But tinted windows don’t hide things from “real” thieves who are casing your car. They’ll just look in the front.

Or maybe you put your GPS in the glove compartment, but the stand is still on the dashboard. They’ll be willing to break in and give it a shot.

Or you leave your stuff under a blanket. They know that one too. They figure it must be valuable, so they’ll go for it.

You leave your stuff in the trunk. Believe it or not, they may go for this too. It’s safer, but if you put stuff in there after reaching your destination, they may already be casing and see you. Or they might look at your car and figure there could be something worthwhile in the trunk.

And leaving shopping bags (especially from good stores) in the back seat is just asking for trouble. The Apple store? They’re going to be hoping for an iPod. Even less trendy stores might have sold you something useful.

How can you get around this? Well, trunks are better than nothing. And it’s best to put stuff in a trunk before you go to a new location…so that the thief didn’t get to see it. This may mean it’s not really safe to get all your Christmas shopping done at once.

Or shop online.

But whatever you do, please don’t be like the one guy at my building. True story: he left his convertible top down and was outraged when his GPS was stolen. Yeah. Future candidate for the Darwin Awards? Maybe.

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December 22, 2007 at 1:23 pm


Anitra December 20, 2007 at 4:55 pm

I have a GPS stand in my car – but good luck breaking in and getting it. It’s handheld and I keep it in my purse.

I do occasionally leave things inside the car – mostly if they’re too bulky to continually carry around, or if I am driving around to several stores (not a mall or a strip mall).

mrsmicah December 20, 2007 at 5:00 pm

The stand or the GPS itself? Keeping them in your purse is a great idea. 🙂 Keeping the stand in the car might lead to some hopeful break-ins. On the plus side, they wouldn’t get anything and on the minus side, you have to fix the window…

RacerX December 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

It is ironic the during the time of giving, more people help themselves.

To be fair I believe part of this has to do with two main causes: availability and sense of desperation/entitlement.

These are both compounded by the holidays. People who are haveing a tough time can see targets with a jealous eye, especially when they are lack the ability to provide the way they like.

Also if you are a thief and go from seeing one car in a parking garge to 100 filled with high-end stuff. It would propbably draw you towards overtime!

Another thief tip is to always ask for signature only with Fed-Ex and UPS. Late presents are better than stolen ones because they were left on your porch!

Mrs. Nathan December 20, 2007 at 7:13 pm

So, pretend that your sister-in-law is interested in starting her own blog over her Christmas break. What’s the best site to host a blog from? I’m looking to do something free but classy. Any tips?

So excited to see you both over Christmas!!! Eeekk!

Canadian December 21, 2007 at 9:39 am

Around 1984 or 1985 my parents’ car was stolen from a mall parking lot with all the Christmas gifts for me and my siblings in it. The car was later found, trashed, with no sign of the gifts.

mrsmicah December 21, 2007 at 10:30 am

Well, Mrs. Nathan, if you don’t want to do ads, then is the classy place to host free blogs. Disadvantage is that you can’t use a lot of widgets which have javascript, etc, in them.

Shall we discuss this on the weekend? 🙂

Canadian…that sucks majorly. Some people just don’t care about the consequences of their actions, as long as they get what they want.

SavingDiva December 21, 2007 at 10:35 am

I have to admit that I was SUPER lazy this year! I went to the mall 1 time! I purchased 1 gift there…the rest were all purchased online…who doesn’t love living in an apartment complex where the office will accept your packages?

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