Friday, July 23, 2010

Do NOT lock your car doors

Unless your motor vehicle is equipped with bulletproof windows, locking your car doors could do more harm than good.

A car thief bent on reselling a stolen car may be more cautious and use locksmithing skills to open the car door and start the car without causing any damage. But then, the end result is that your car is gone.

While an unmotivated thief unwilling to attract attention in a public place may be deterred by a locked door, and move on, if the car is to be left somewhere overnight, or parked in a quiet low traffic area, you are in for a treat.

A thief of opportunity interested in the radar detector on your dashboard, the duffel bag on your backseat, or to the iPod on your seat will just 'smash and grab', breaking your window with no regard to the structural integrity of the glass or resale value of the vehicle.

Most automobile insurance policies have a per-incident deductible (sometimes a few hundred dollars) that must be met before they will pay any claims, and many policies do not cover items stolen from the vehicle. Unfortunately, replacing a car side window can cost at least 250 dollars. Which means that a thief stealing your 200 dollar iPod will also cause 250 dollars worth of damage, for a total loss of 450 dollars, none of it covered by insurance.

By leaving your car doors locked, you are throwing money out the (broken) window.

What then is a solution that does not involve purchasing a surplus armored vehicle with bulletproof glass?

Do not leave anything in a parked vehicle.

Even if the item you leave in the car is worthless, a motivated thief may be curious enough to break a window to get to it.

Police departments who advise people to lock their cars are foolishly perpetrating the myth that a thief can be stopped by a few millimeters of glass. Give me a break (pun intended).

And if you are not so much worried about the laptop on the passenger seat but do not want the car itself to be stolen, consider an ignition kill-switch, a GPS tracking device, or a rabid german shepherd.


  1. That reminds me of the air-head who "forgot" his poodle in his car at the Burlington airport parking lot in January 2009, for 19 days, without food or water.

    I guess the dog survived by licking frost off the windows. No one knows.

    I'm not quite sure why it took 19 days for passersby to notice the dog and alert animal control officers.

  2. consider faith, only the atheists can be stolen, a true believer gives away
    consider an a GPS tracking GOD POsition System, or a bible
    or a rabid german shepherd....the germans are good people
    consider selling youre car
    His Lordship The Atheist Gunner at 6:66 XM

  3. That was a really funny video. Thanks for sharing.

    However, given that I have had my car broken into three times, I am not in the mood for buying a fourth window.