If you’re gonna hit my van, bring a vacuum

Lindsay Chamberlin

Lindsay Chamberlin

Friends, can we talk? REALLY talk? Mom to mom, friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor? I was trolling Nextdoor over coffee recently, like we do, when I saw a suggestion that the best way to combat vehicle break-ins is to leave your car unlocked. To this, I say:


Why not leave the criminals a steak and a nice bottle of pinot on the porch for their efforts? Or a nice gift card?

I read about three car break-ins on Twitter’s 32804 Police Calls this morning and thanked my lucky stars mine wasn’t one of them. Well, my lucky stars probably had less to do with it than the fact that dirty socks, Pokémon card wrappers and empty water bottles are not hot items on the black market (yet).

The fact is that if nothing valuable is in sight, thugs will move along. As long as we continue to leave our doors unlocked, delinquents are free to help themselves to our expressway quarters, rifle through our glove boxes and nap on our sweet bucket seats.

Stop it.

Just like the coyotes moved along when the cats went inside, thieves will likely move along past a well-lit street of locked and empty cars.

My own car was broken into two years ago. I’d left a tote bag on the front seat because I was only going to be a minute, but a smash-and-grab takes about fifteen seconds.

As a hard-hitting journalist, I Googled “how to stop car break-ins” and wanted to share some of my intensive, research-based findings with you:

—If you can’t bring something with you, put it in the trunk. Thieves want to work fast; they rarely bother to pop the trunk to see if there’s anything good inside.

—Thieves often pass on cars loaded with junk. (Yay!)

—Cars with loose change, toll passes or GPS devices in sight are favorite targets.

—Park in well lit areas or have bright motion-detecting lights in your driveway.

—You can buy blinking lights (that look like car alarm lights) at an auto parts store to stick to your dashboard. Thieves avoid these.

There are tons of other great tips online, but I got tired after the first article.

Being a victim of a vehicle break-in is a tough pill to swallow, but with work and collaboration, we can make sure College Park is not worth the effort for criminals.

Even after the hassle of replacing our car window, we still lock our doors because thieves will continue to come back to fertile ground. For the love of 32804, let’s make it hard for them.

One Response to “If you’re gonna hit my van, bring a vacuum”

  1. Best Vacuums Online
    March 30, 2017 at 3:49 am #

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