Fewer people are on the roads, which means our cars are sitting at home. That might be one reason why the San Diego Police Department has reported more burglaries over the last few months compared to the same time last year.
“If we didn’t have enough to worry about, now we have to worry about our vehicles,” said Doug Shupe a spokesperson for the Auto Club of Southern California. “Thieves are out there looking for crimes of opportunity.”
From March to June of this year, SDPD reported 1,517 car break-ins, compared to 1,441 the same time a year before.
“People aren’t checking on their vehicles as much, they’re not using them as much,” Shupe said. “Unfortunately, thieves know that and they’re out there looking for these vehicles to target.”
Shupe has some recommendations on how to avoid being targeted. The biggest thing you can do is remove valuables from your car.
“Something as simple as sunglasses left in the cup holder or a phone charger could be tempting to a thief,” Shupe said. “They’re looking for a quick fix to grab something and sell it and make some money during these times.”
Shupe also says car thefts are up across the state of California. He says last year, around 10,000 cars were stolen in San Diego County.
“Thieves are looking for these vehicles that they can quickly sell off for parts,” Shupe said. “They want to make money right now.”
Shupe says one of the most effective ways to stop a car theft is the reliable steering wheel locking device. He also warns about leaving spare keys in the car, and parking in deserted areas.
“You always want to make sure that you’re trying to park in a secured garage if you can,” Shupe said. “Or park in well-lit areas, especially at night.”
Even if you don’t have much value inside your car for someone to steal, if they smash a window or break your lock, it could cost you. That’s why Shupe says you should remove anything that someone might think has value.
“Thieves can really cause a financial toll on the vehicle when they try to get into them,” Shupe said. “Even something that is small like a damaged door handle can cost you a lot of money to get fixed.”