Orlando, Fla. — It's frustrating but inevitable and every big city has to deal with this issue. According to Neighborhood Scout which tracks property crimes like burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson —your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime in Orlando is one in 19, which is a rate of 53 per one thousand population.
Specifically, they found that Orlando has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation according to their analysis of FBI crime data. This is compared to communities of all sizes, from the smallest to the largest. In fact, your chance of getting your car stolen if you live in Orlando is one in 222.
Car thieves are usually seeking opportunity and they come with a plan. A crime of opportunity means that in a specific moment, a car thief singles you out because they can tell that you are vulnerable in some way. For that particular reason it is always important to prevent and be alert at all times to avoid becoming part of these unpleasant statistics.
The following are a few tips we all should always keeping in mind while hoping around and/or simply enjoying the City Beautiful in your four wheels:
Keep your car doors locked at all times
Do we need to tell you this? Surprisingly many of us forget about it, we may even think we did it but are not sure, so what the heck, right?
Do not leave your vehicle unattended
try to avoid parking in isolated areas that are not well lit. Parking in locations like this reduces the visibility that you afford your vehicle, and doing so increases the likelihood of a criminal successfully stealing your car. There are several auxiliary measures that make it easier for you to keep an eye on your car, directly or indirectly.
Oh, and please, be especially careful to not leave children and/or pets unattended inside the car! Especially now during the hot summer months.
Do not leave your car running
It doesn’t matter if it is only for a brief moment, it is always important to turn vehicles off and ensure that everything is securely stowed away.
If you have young children and you have to pay for gas inside the commercial establishment, YOU MUST TAKE YOUR CHILDREN WITH YOU.
This is one of those occasions when paying at the gas pump makes complete sense.
Always roll up your windows
During the summer months some of us have the habit to leave the windows open to avoid overheating the car interiors. You shouldn’t. Try instead to use sun shades or heat shields to protect your car interiors from heat damage.
Install car alarm systems
Most new cars come with pre-installed alarm systems, but if yours does not have one, there are many options in the market tailored to your needs and particular budget.
Plan your route whenever you are driving
This is particularly important to prevent yourself from wandering around areas that are potentially dangerous in your search for way to get to your final destination. Remember carjackings are also another type of car theft, thus, crime.
Practice proper automotive maintenance
Keeping your automobile in good running condition, not only will save you lots of money in unexpected repair expenses, but will also keep you from getting stuck in an insecure place at the wrong time.
Stay aware of your surroundings at all times
This has a lot to do with planning your route, but also after driving the route of your choice, it is always important to be aware of anyone following you and when you stop on signals. Especially during the nighttime when all surroundings are dark and it becomes more difficult to see anything unusual.
Do not store important personal documents in your vehicle
Never, we mean, NEVER — leave documents in your glove compartment or any other areas inside your car unless you don’t mind becoming a target for identity theft as well. Some people living in nice neighborhoods tend to relax and leave doors unlocked, to discover the following morning that even though everything looked fine and apparently nothing was missing, later on find our their documents were stolen for that particular purpose: ID theft.
Do not keep valuables stored in your vehicle
This is common sense, yet some people leave tablets, laptops and many other valuables visible to burglars. This could be considered a temptation but thieves may even find it a provocation. One you are in control of, and must avoid under any circumstances.
ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY!