If you’re a very busy person, you might consider your car your second home. With all the time you need to spend in there, you might keep snacks, water, a change of clothes, a car charger, some books, and a number of other things to help get you through the week.
While it’s convenient to let some belongings permanently live in your car, you have to remember that your vehicle is vulnerable. You likely park it on streets and in public lots several times a week. Even in your driveway, your car is still exposed to the elements and people passing by. With that in mind, here are things you should never leave in your car.
You probably wouldn’t leave your laptop in plain view on your passenger seat, but don’t forget about the smaller electronics you use in your vehicle on a regular basis. A GPS system, for example, can easily be resold for several hundred dollars. While it may be a hassle to detach it from your dashboard every time you park your car, not doing so could mean returning to your car to find smashed windows.
A spare purse
Do you keep a spare purse in your car in case you need to go straight from the office to a nice event? Or maybe a backpack, filled with emergency items? If you must keep these in the car, put them in the trunk. Thieves don’t know that the spare purse is empty, or that the backpack doesn’t contain a computer. They’re willing to break into your car to find out.
Did you hit the mall recently? Did you visit stores with pricey items like electronics or jewelry? Even if you already packed those valuables safely away in your house, you may have kept the bags in your car to reuse them. But again, thieves don’t know that those bags are empty. They might smash your windows to find out for themselves.
You plan on seeing your niece in a couple of days for her birthday, so you pack her present in the car now, so as not to forget it. That pretty, ribbon-adorned box only contains a stuffed animal, but onlookers don’t know that. Anything nicely wrapped can draw a thief’s attention, so keep presents at home or at least in the trunk.
You shouldn’t leave your pet in the car for several reasons, but theft is one of them. You have to leave your windows down so your pet doesn’t overheat, but that makes it very easy for someone to walk up and snatch your furry friend.
Your planner is like a key to your life. Should someone get their hands on it, they’d have a complete overview of your schedule, and where you’ll be (and not be—like your house) at all times. Stow your planner safely away.
If you own a pair of expensive sunglasses, or even a pair that could look expensive, don’t leave them on your seat or dashboard. Considering that some shades resell for several thousand dollars, this is a hot ticket item for those looking to break into cars.
Prescription drugs can sell for a lot on the black market and in the streets. Don’t leave your container of drugs on your car seat. Even a mild painkiller could attract attention.
Did you just pay a visit to your accountant? Financial advisor? Doctor? Attorney? Don’t leave the manila envelope, full of documents from your meeting, on your car seat. With the information contained in those documents, someone could do a lot of damage to your identity.
We may not think to protect our cars the way we do our houses, but if you spend enough time in your vehicle, it can contain just as many valuables as your home.