When you join the masses for Christmas shopping this holiday season, you can rest assured that people looking for crimes of opportunity will also be out in full force. Around the holidays, this means that unscrupulous individuals will be looking to break into vehicles that contain recently purchased presents. You don't want to fall victim to this sort of crime, but you also don't want to contend with damage to your vehicle that requires you to pay your deductible and file an auto insurance claim. While you can't completely eliminate the risk of a vehicle break-in, there are lots of things that you can to minimize being targeted. Here are some steps.
Don't Return To Your Vehicle Until You're Done Shopping
People looking for an easy target can loiter in a shopping center's parking lot to watch for people who drop shopping bags into their vehicle and then return to the mall for more shopping. When such people are spotted, it's easy for a thief to smash a window and make off with the recently bought items — and leave the vehicle owner needing to make an insurance claim soon thereafter. You can avoid this risk by not placing any items in your car until you're leaving the shopping center entirely.
Have Someone Stay With The Car In Bad Parts Of Town
Occasionally, you might find yourself having to visit a certain store that is located in a part of town known for its auto break-ins. Instead of parking and running your errand, see if you can visit the area with someone. This person can then either park and stay with the car — thus lessening the risk of someone trying to break in — or circle the block until you're done buying what you need. Furthermore, it's a good idea to only visit such areas during the daytime.
Store Bags In Your Trunk
It's always a good idea to put any bags of gifts that you buy in your trunk. This will prevent them from being visible to people who may seek crimes of opportunity. A bag from a jewelry store or a high-end clothing retailer can indicate something of high value in the car, which means that a thief could smash your window and grab the item in a matter of seconds — leaving you in need of contacting your insurance provider. By storing everything in your trunk, there will be nothing in plain view to tempt any thieves.