Each year, unlucky Australians fall victim to car theft with up to one car stolen every 10 minutes in 2017. For those who are fortunate enough to stumble upon their vehicles still in the same place where they left it, are soon given a rude awakening when they realise they’ve been broken into.
Who could forget that heart drop feeling as a hard lump travels down your throat.
In this moment of shock, between the adrenaline pumping through your veins and panicky thoughts racing through your mind, what should you do?
With crime reports showing a significant rise in stealing and car thefts in Western Australia, we have devised a quick and simple plan that shows you what to do after a break-in and how to prevent it from happening again.
First things first, take a deep breath and calm down, we got you. Next,
What you should do if your car got broken into:
- Call the police
It’s important that you call the police immediately to report the break-in. Try not to touch anything or move anything around as this will protect any evidence that forensics may find. Increased reports can also lead to an increase in police presence, which results in a safer neighbourhood. To report a burglary contact the police on 131 444. If the police do not attend, you will need to visit your local cop shop, here’s what you will need:
– Take as many photos as possible of the car and the crime scene
– Bring your registration details
– Provide extra information about where it happened, when it might’ve happened
– Provide a list of stolen or damaged items.
- Asses your belongings
If thieves have managed to break into your car whether it was parked in your driveway or inside your garage, chances are they may ransacked other areas of your property. Do a thorough inspection, after you have taken photos from step 1.
Try not to tamper with the crime scene if police are attending your location. If you’ve noticed your wallet or handbag has been stolen, contact your bank and cancel all your cards immediately.
If you leave a garage remote in your car, check to see if it has been taken. Crafty thieves will use keys and garage remotes for future robberies if you’re not careful.
- Look for eye witnesses or check CCTV
Ask your neighbours or ask bystanders if they saw anyone acting suspicious near your car. If there was a witness, write down a brief description of what the culprit looked like and hand it to the police. Check with nearby offices and stores that may have CCTV and could have recorded the break-in. The police will usually cover this, but it pays to ask.
- Contact your insurance provider
Depending on the level of damage your vehicle has received, you may or may not want to contact your insurance provider. Minor damages can be easily fixed without making an insurance claim, which can cause future complications such as an increased premium or denial of cover.
If your car was parked at home, home and contents insurance should cover those however, it may not cover the damage.
Get a quote on the damage first before proceeding with your decision.
- Get your car fixed
If you have chosen to make an insurance claim then this part will be easy. If you do not have insurance, have a reputable mechanic repair your car, and you may want to consider getting comprehensive car insurance for the future. An insurer will book your car into a repairer near you, all you have to do is drop it off and pick it up when it’s good as new.
How to prevent future break-ins
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Don’t give thieves the upper hand when there are proven deterrents that can help prevent future break-ins.
Successful deterrents for cars that are parked at home:
- A barking dog has a 61.4% chance of deterring a thief.
- A working alarm system has 49.1% chance.
- Sensor lights on the outside of the property will deter 22.8% of thieves.
- Grilled windows/doors at 19%.
- Visibility of the property from the road – 14%.
- Gates will provide 12.3%
Simple steps you can take to prevent another break-in:
- Keep your vehicle locked at ALL times. This is the golden rule, whether your car is parked at home, train station, or the office, even if you’re driving, ensure your car is locked at all times.
- Keep your car in the garage at all times, if possible.
- Make sure to close all your windows and sunroof.
- Don’t leave any valuables, bags, laptops or any other valuables lying on the seat or in visible sight. This is an open invitation for thieves.
- Install anti-theft systems or devices if you don’t already use them. Thieves are much more reluctant to steal or break into a vehicle that cannot be stolen quickly.
- If you are not able to park your car in a secure location at night then make sure it is parked in a well lit area as thieves prefer to work in the dark.
- If your windscreen or windows are chipped, cracked or damaged, repair or replace them immediately. Don’t give a thief a second chance at breaking into your car.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are entering a neighbourhood notorious for its crime or car theft rate, lock your days, close the window, and don’t stop for strangers. A popular technique criminals use to get drivers out of their cars is to gently nudge the rear end when stopped at traffic lights, prompting drivers to get out. Ring the police immediately if this happens to you.
How to protect your garage from a break-in
- Keep your garage door opener inside the house. You want to make it as hard as possible for thieves to break into your car or home.
- Install a home alarm system. An alarm system is a great deterrent that not only protects your belongings but your loved ones as well.
- Install motion sensing lights. This ensures all areas of your home are well-lit, particularly your garage area.
- Cover the windows. The less a thief can see the less inclined they are to break in. Spend a weekend organising your garage, this will not only open up the space but improve on home security.
- find more advice on how to protect your garage door from burglars.
With crime on the rise in Western Australia and it doesn’t look like it’s going to go anywhere anytime soon, it’s important to have a working garage door. Is it starting to make strange squealing noises every time you open or close it? Does it open halfway and close? If you are currently experiencing any of these issues, make your home a safer place, contact Gryphon Garage Doors Perth.