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5 Common Home and Car Mistakes Thieves Love

By some reports there are more than 700,000 vehicles stolen and almost 1 million cases of burglary in residences nationwide annually . And though those are sobering stats, the good news is there are simple and practical steps you can take to help prevent car and home burglaries.

1. Leaving your keys in the car

Yep, people do this. In fact, it accounts for every 1 in 8 cars that are stolen, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Believe it or not, this problem is actually increasing, with incidents rising 31 percent from 2013 to 2015. The state of California had the most cars stolen in this manner (and Hawaii, none — if you live there, good on you!). So whether you’re warming up your car against chilly weather or “just running into the house to grab a snack,” don’t leave your keys in the car.

2. Leaving the car window open … just a smidge

Just a little fresh air, right? Well, according to car thieves, a window that’s rolled down even an inch is as irresistible as an unlocked car. They can stick their fingers in and get the window out of the track by rocking it back and forth and then pry it open to unlock the car. So lock those windows tight … and if you’re using a cracked window as an excuse to leave your pet in the car, here’s one more reason not to ever do it.

3. Buying the wrong car

We won’t fault you for having a car that catches thieves’ eyes. But you might want to make note of some particularly popular models and take measures to protect them appropriately.  Lists of the models most frequently targeted by thieves are commonly available online.

4. Leaving the doors or windows open in your house

By some estimates, 30 percent of burglars enter through an open door or window. And please don’t leave the hide-a-key under the front doormat. You might as well invite them in for a cup of tea — or all your jewelry.

5. Making it obvious you’re not home

No car in the driveway? No lights on? Newspapers piling up on the front porch? If your house looks vacant, you might be inviting unwanted guests. So if you’re gone for an extended period of time, ask your neighbors to grab your mail and maybe even park one of their cars in your driveway.


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