Have you left items of interest in plain sight?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  syqeh 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #76229

    phoo
    Participant

    Often when I read about thefts in cars, it’s because someone left their ipod or purse in the car and in plain sight.

    First, let me say that this is an honest question that I’d really like to hear from people on: Have you ever left valuables in your car when parking in a non-private garage, and why?

    Secondly, people who say yes (especially if said valuables then walked off) are opening themselves up for easy snarkiness, so I am going to ask that this be kept to a civil discussion.

    I grew up in a rather security-minded family, so I was always discouraged from leaving any theft target in the car. I have in fact on occasion left items in the car I did not want to lose, but hid them – even the logo on my jacket. Usually, it was because it was too bulky to take in with me. 99% of the time I take everything with me. But not everyone is paranoid like I am, and no doubt that paranoia comes at a price. I could see someone with a better life attitude not realizing that even though those sun glasses cost a whole $15 at Bartells, a thief might target them, just on the chance they were a $100+ pair (I also have no comprehension of paying 3 or 4 figures for sun glasses, but that’s another topic).

    Have you ever left something visible in the car that’s tempting to a thief? Why?

    #76230

    SunsetHillGuy
    Participant

    that depends on what you call tempting, me I’ve left piles of books that are a bit rare in a car many times, to me those are tempting to someone else not so much. never had a car broken into but some thefts once tried to get into my ex’s honda accord once, instead they broke off the handle on the driver’s side and messed up the lock on the passenger side so had to crawl through the trunk with the back seat down for a few days to get into the car until we could afford to get it fixed.

    honestly I rarely leave anything in a car unless for some reason I can’t take it inside with me (like going to lunch, hard to haul all my stuff into a restaurant). my sweetie has tons of stuff in her trunk but I always wonder if thiefs can get into the trunk through the back seat why bother leaving stuff there?

    #76231

    BuffaloHawk
    Participant

    I remember when I was in Manhattan over 20 years ago and people would have a piece of paper on there window saying stereo already stolen.

    #76232

    Richy
    Participant

    BH, My sister lived there at that time and thieves were breaking the car windows and jacking open the trunks, then leaving at note attached to the original saying “just making sure”

    I left a Kennedy tool box in the back seat of my car once at the center, when I got back someone was sitting in the front seat trying to pull out my $10 radio/tape player, the real pisser was he broke the side window with a screwdriver, the back door was unlocked and about $1,000 of tools sitting there. On the upside I must have scared the feces out of them, they came back and gave me back the knobs and screws from the radio.

    I guess my takeaway is thieves are not real smart and may or may not break into your car regardless of what they may see, if it is unlocked they may rummage through for who knows what.

    #76235

    phoo
    Participant

    RichY, in regards to smarts: In another town, I had thieves who ripped out the trunk lock, but still couldn’t get into the trunk.

    Yes, what is valuable and what is tempting to thieves are often not the same. As I said, a $15 pair of sunglasses could cause thieves to break in “just in case” those are $200 Oakley’s. But they’ll have no idea that those old books are worth nearly a grand.

    #76238

    BuffaloHawk
    Participant

    I saw this earlier and it looks like he prowled a lot of cars in North Seattle.I am hoping it puts decent dent in the car break ins but doubt it. I wonder how long until he is back on the streets.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Police-Suspect-says-he-stole-at-least-30-cars-prowled-5-per-night-283355641.html

    Following his arrest at a Taco Bell on Aurora Avenue North, a wanted suspect admitted to stealing up to 40 cars and prowling at least five per night over the past few months in North Seattle, according to the Seattle Police Department.

    #76240

    PlantLover
    Participant

    Prolific fellow.

    My brother-in-law once left an expensive camera sitting on the back seat of his car at a mall. That is just the sort of person he is. How could he be surprised when the window was smashed and the camera grabbed?

    #76241

    BuffaloHawk
    Participant

    They need to set one of these up in North Seattle

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079308/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

    When a police department’s burglary task force is facing the possibility of being shut down because of their low conviction rate decides to try a new approach to apprehending their targets. They take over a pawn shop where thieves go to unload their merchandise. They record them as they bring stuff in and get them to tell them where they got it.

    #76271

    Angeline
    Participant

    No, I’ve never left anything in the car in plain sight on purpose, and if I’m hiding anything under the seat or in the glove box I try to do it before I’m in the final parking spot. But hidden or not, nothing is really safe in your car. A friend had her laptop stolen this way, complete with confidential documents from her business … because it was locked in the trunk and the whole car was stolen. From a church parking lot.

    I do wonder about the attractant issue of having grocery bags in the car. I do always have those, and they are in plain sight. There’s no way to tell just from looking that they contain nothing other than more bags. However, I need my bags and there’s nowhere to hide them in a wagon or SUV.

    #76278

    GAM
    Participant

    I leave very little in my car. I do leave grocery bags in the back seat, and I always try to leave them propped in a way so that one can see through the window that my bag is just filled with other bags. (Fun fact: while I recovered my stolen car, the grocery bags are still missing)

    I’ve irritated some passengers by telling them they can’t leave their purse/pack/bag in the car. Of course, had they asked BEFORE we’d pulled in and parked I could have been more accommodating.

    I will admit to a certain lack of sympathy towards people who keep stuff in their car habitually and then have it broken into. But hey, I can’t be compassionate about everything, right?

    #76284

    Shelley
    Moderator

    Not in a very long time. I was disabused of that concept in the mid ’70s in Berkeley after meeting my husband to be. He had this British sports car convertible (translation: money and time sink that the headlights and heater fan didn’t work and the engine leaked oil no matter what). He never locked the doors because the top cost $600 to replace. Of course punks would plow through the vehicle, usually dumping the contents of his rag box.

    About 2004, when our little ’88 Corolla was parked on the street in Greenwood, someone broke into the trunk and stole the spare tire, so, yeah even with nothing visible, stuff gets stolen. Now with my bikes, I have to haul everything in with me.

    #76317

    phoo
    Participant

    I too leave grocery bags and also blankets in my car. But it’s pretty obvious the bags are empty and with my car looking so trashy, it is kinda my hope that it screams “I’m not rich enough to have something to steal, but it could happen. I don’t leave anything I’m not willing to replace in the car (ie: low dollar value). I think the biggest headache would be the registration and owner’s manual. Some people who are really cautious will keep those things in an alternate place, like their wallet. If I do park in a high theft area (like down by the locks), I will remove those things and take them with me.

    When it comes to my backpack that I take to school, I always take it in with me, even though there’s nothing of (tangible) value in it. It doesn’t matter. It’s still a target.

    #76331

    JM98107
    Participant

    The SPD has been busy catching a few crooks:

    Detectives Uncover Major Stash of Cellphones and Guns In Pioneer Square, Cuff Car Thieves On Aurora

    http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/

    #77182

    Life is amazing
    Participant

    When I lived in one of the worst parts of LA (back when I was young and immortal) we used to leave the trunk open enough to show it was open and all the doors unlocked then yank some cord in the engine. The middle one that was surrounded by a bunch of others. Extra points if you know what I’m talking about cause I don’t remember. long time ago

    #77186

    VeganBiker
    Participant

    LIA – that is the main power cable from the coil to the distributor and that would stop anyone from starting a car until they replaced it. Kind of a pain in the neck to do every night but hey.. I sold my car a couple of years ago and I doubt I will ever buy another.

    #91649

    syqeh
    Participant

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