Winter often leads to high crime rates, as more people are willing to leave a vehicle running or start a vehicle in the driveway in order to warm up the car before heading out. Criminals that operate by chance, commonly known as opportunistic criminals, grab opportunities such as this to steal vehicles, including any and all personal belongings inside. There have even been cases where children or pets are stolen accidentally—and sometimes on purpose—when they are left inside a running vehicle.
So how can you avoid this problem? Here are a few easy tips for keeping your vehicle safe during the winter months:
- Avoid the impulse to turn on the vehicle before you are ready to leave in order to let it warm up, especially if you are in a high crime neighborhood, unless your car is in a closed garage. Take a coat or blanket in order to keep warm, but sit inside the car if possible while it warms. if you have no alternative, warm up the car while watching from a window for thieves or suspicious persons.
- It is always a good idea to have a few things in your trunk or backseat in case of problems with the vehicle on icy roads. If you have an accident, you will need a few items until help can get there, and these would also come in handy if the snow becomes too deep or the road too icy to drive. These include: blanket, flashlight, gallon of clean drinking water, non-perishable food items, emergency road flares, and a laminated document listing allergies or medical conditions, including the medicines you take daily, for emergency reference. Keep this in a safe place, such as your glove box, but make those you love aware of its’ location.
- Plan extra time to arrive at your destination when you know that the weather is snowy or icy. When you are in a rush, you may make decisions that lead to horrible outcomes, such as your car being stolen. You cannot plan for everything, and sometimes bad things happen even with the best of planning, but you can do your part to help keep your property safe.
- Keep your keys with you at all times! Whether you are running in for a quick stop or just dropping something off, turn off the vehicle and take your keys with you. Lock the doors if it will be more than 30 seconds! Do not make it any easier for potential criminals than you have to, and by locking the doors you make it that much more difficult for your vehicle to be stolen.
If you or someone you love is facing charges such as Grand Theft Auto, it is essential that you allow someone to fight for your rights! We are licensed to practice law in Alabama and Georgia, and offer more than twenty years of combined experience in a wide variety of practice areas. Do not wait until you are facing a lengthy prison term to get the help you need!