Cars and Vehicles
June 17, 2023
Crime Prevention
How to stop thieves breaking into your car and stealing your stuff

How to stop thieves breaking into your car and stealing your stuff

By simply locking your vehicle and removing all valuable items from view, you greatly reduce the chance of a thief breaking into your car and stealing your stuff.

Most thieves break into cars because they see something they want inside.  

Thieves will break windows and damage locks in a matter of seconds to steal your valuables. Or they may go from car-to-car until they find one that’s unlocked. By following a few simple tips you can protect your belongings from theft.

It’s simple – before you leave your car, remove it and lock it or lose it. 

Close all windows and lock all doors

  • Close all windows, including the sunroof, and lock all doors and the boot before leaving your car unattended for any length of time. 
  • Always lock your car, even when parking at home, buying fuel or dashing into a shop or your house for a few moments. 
  • Double check the door handles before you leave your car, to make sure all doors are locked. In many instances, victims leave doors unlocked and windows open. 
  • Consider installing a car alarm.

Remove all valuable items

  • Only brink along the items you actually need. The less clutter inside your car, the less likely a thief will target it. 
  • Never leave valuable items where they can be seen from outside – remove things like mobile phones, laptops, tablets, money, sunglasses, coats, sports gear, gaming consoles and dash cams.
  • Remove GPS and dash cam units and wipe the suction mark off the window.
  • Don’t leave your car rego, driver’s licence or other personal papers in your car. Thieves could use your address to break into you home while it’s unattended or use your details to steal your identity. 
  • Avoid leaving loose change in the console or anywhere else it can be seen. Thieves will do hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage to steal small amounts of money.
  • Electronic cables left in cigarette lighter sockets are signs that a valuable item could be hidden in the vehicle. Remove these from view before you exit your car. 

Be careful with your keys

  • Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you’re just dashing inside your home or a shop for a few minutes.
  • Don’t keep your home address on tags attached to your keys. Use your phone number instead. 
  • Always take spare house keys and your door opener with you – don’t leave them in your car. Thieves could use them to burgle your home. 

Keep it out of site

  • If you must leave any valuable items in your car, lock them away out of sight in the boot or glove box before you leave home. 
  • Avoid placing items in your boot, console or under your front seat when out in public – you never know who is watching. lf it’s valuable, take it with you or leave it at home.
  • Remove any external toolboxes and equipment if you can or secure them with heavy-duty locks if they can’t be removed. 

Park your car securely

  • In public, park your vehicle in a well-lit, secure area, preferably somewhere with lots of people moving around.
  • At home, park your car in your garage if you have one. If you don’t have a garage, park off the street, in your driveway or carport and install motion sensor lights.

Protect your number plates

Number plates are the top item stolen from cars. Protect yours by fitting them with one-way, anti-theft screws. You can get them fitted for a gold coin donation at one of our Safe Plate events.

Get Police Assistance

For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
Call: 000
To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
Call: 131 444
To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000

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Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

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