Over the past few years car burglaries have decreased, but we have seen a fair amount of them in 2018. Theft from parked cars is one of the most common complaints received by police in residential neighborhoods. According to the U.S. Department of Justice statistics, these types of crimes make up 36 percent of all larcenies reported to the police. Thefts from vehicles usually involve small dollar values in terms of the property that is stolen, but they also take up considerable police resources and increase residents’ fear of crime. Having security cameras on your home is often the number one deterrent in stopping a burglar. If you want to find out how secure your home is, give Central Jersey Security Cameras a call. We can help you to decide what security system is best to fit your security needs or we can fill you in on how to improve your existing security.
Stolen cars create an inconvenience, generate higher insurance costs, and financial losses for car owners as well as the risks to the safety of police officers and other motorists from stolen vehicle pursuits.
Cars are generally stolen for one of three purposes:
- For temporary transportation, such as use in another crime or for “joyriding”
- To strip the car of its valuable parts for resale
- To re-sell it, often disguised as a legitimate car
Where and when cars are parked are probably the most significant factors that offer opportunity to thieves. Cars are typically safer in driveways rather than parked on streets, but this will depend to some extent on the length of the driveway, shrubbery, lighting, and other factors that affect natural surveillance. Most car thefts occur on the street outside the victim’s home. A car parked on the street is much more likely to be targeted by criminals than a car parked in a driveway. Vehicles are safer in a garage, more at risk in a driveway, and much more at risk on the street.
Because suburban residential areas are relatively quiet and safe, residents can become unconcerned about car security. They may leave their car doors unlocked or leave their keys in the ignition. Unsecured cars, cars with valuables left in plain view, poor house and street lighting and vegetation or other features that provide concealment for thieves are commonplace. Oftentimes, their homes’ exterior lighting is wholly inadequate. Tall shrubbery and other brush on the premises can provide thieves with cover. An entire neighborhood filled with unlocked cars and poorly lit homes, with plenty of places to hide, is an inviting scene for a thief. Residential subdivisions surrounded by rural lands and that are not served by public transportation are less likely to suffer from car crime. Thieves would have to travel to the location, and then walk around in an unfamiliar neighborhood where they are more likely to appear out of place and attract suspicion. These areas often have no sidewalks, so pedestrian traffic in general draws attention. Probably the most effective response for car owners is not to park their cars in the open streets or driveways. Of course, many car owners, especially in more densely populated residential areas, are forced to park on the streets because they do not have garages or driveways. The capacity to prevent theft of cars and their components is limited, especially when cars are parked on the street where they are easily accessible at any time of the day.
Thefts of and from cars in suburban residential areas generally occur at night. This is because it is the time most cars are present, as well as the fact that the darkness provides cover for the thieves. In residential areas that contain multi-family apartment complexes, parking lots can be vulnerable to thefts during the day because there are so many people using the lots, thus providing anonymity to the offender. Some special events that draw large numbers of vehicles to an area also generate high volumes of thefts from cars.
Frequently, thefts from cars occur in clusters. Numerous burglaries may be reported during the early morning hours when thieves have already passed through a neighborhood looking for property to steal. In general, two kinds of property are stolen: personal items and car components. Personal items that owners may leave in their cars include loose change, laptop computers, portable music players, and wallets or pocket books. Personal valuables inside the passenger compartment accounted for 35 percent of items stolen, while stereo components made up 27 percent of the stolen items. Compact discs as well as car stereo parts and accessories can easily be traded for cash at second hand music stores or pawnshops. These items can also be difficult to trace. Few owners take the time to record the serial numbers of after-market stereo components.
In general, older model cars are more often stolen than more recent models because fewer of them contain built-in anti-theft devices. However, newer models may be targeted for theft if they contain expensive components that are in great demand. Each year, $1.255 billion in personal items and accessories are stolen from vehicles in about 1.85 million thefts; and for every theft, experts estimate, there are several break-ins and attempted break-ins. With these tips and preventative measures, you can greatly reduce the chances your vehicle will become a target.
10 tips to help protect your vehicles from burglary:
- Lock your doors, roll up your windows. Thieves often look for unlocked cars, as well as sheds and garage doors that are left open. While this piece of advice should be a no-brainer, up to a quarter of vehicle thefts are from unlocked cars. Even if you’re running into the store for a Coke, that’s too long to leave your vehicle’s contents open for the taking. Simply locking the doors will deter those who might just be waiting around for an easy target. Close your windows and sunroofs.
- Take your valuables. Don’t leave your valuables in the vehicle, or in plain sight. Make sure you take out your phones, pocketbooks, purses, and even your change. In today’s day and age, change has been something taken out of cars more often than you would think. Don’t leave any bait out for thieves; stow your electronics and accessories well out of sight, or better yet, bring it with you. The evidence alone might be enough to pique the interest of theieves, so hide that too, including power plugs, telltale iPod adapters, or nav-system windshield suction cup mounts, and even put the cigarette lighter back in place.
- Hide your things. Stash before, not after you park. Get in the habit of putting shopping bags in the trunk right when you return to the vehicle, rather than after you park at the next place. Thieves sometimes linger in busy parking lots looking for valuables being moved out of sight. Don’t display to them what you have. Almost any worthless personal item that’s visible from the outside – even an empty shopping bag – could be seen as a valuable or a carrier of valuables. If you have a wagon or SUV that leaves your cargo area on display, consider getting a cover. Most of these vehicles can be fitted with inexpensive retractable covers to help keep shopping bags or belongings out of sight.
- Turn off your car. Yes, this seems like a no brainer, but all too often we see cars left running in front of our local convenience stores, such as wawa or even in our neighbor’s driveway. It is almost like your car is there saying “take me, I’m already running and the keys are in here”.
- Never leave the keys. Years ago, a close family friend made a joke about when you are out, you never leave the person that has the keys so you always know you have a ride home. This is true in so many ways. Make sure you keep your keys with you for the simple fact that they often have more then just your car keys on there. They often have your house key on them as well. So, by leaving your keys behind, not only are your saying “hey, take my car” but now you are also saying, “hey, why not stop by my home and help yourself there too”.
- Park in secure and visible areas. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, park your car in a well lit area! Parking in a secure area does not only protect your belongings, but can also protect you and your family from the dangers that may be lurking. Avoid concealment from larger vehicles, fences, or foliage. Except for the most brazen thieves, the greater that chances are that someone might see a crime in progress, the lower the chances are that potential thief will attempt it.
- Car alarms. If you have a car alarm, don’t forget to activate it. It’s as simple as that. And don’t forget if you are in the parking lot and feel you can be in danger, hit that car alarm button. Often the alarm will scare away the would be attackers.
- Get a vehicle locator. For stolen vehicles, consider having some type of vehicle locator installed.
- Report anything suspicious. Better safe then sorry! If you see something suspicious, REPORT IT!
- Add home security cameras. For your home, consider adding surveillance cameras that can capture any car thefts or burglaries on film and help find the thieves and get them off our streets.
Unfortunately, in many densely populated areas, thefts from cars go uninvestigated if there is no information from the victim as to the identity of the perpetrator. The fact that streets and the driveways attached to them are accessible to everyone makes cars very vulnerable. This is when having a surveillance camera system can benefit you. Not only are security cameras a deterrent to burglars, but they can also help you to identify the perpetrator. Central Jersey Security Cameras motto is “get them before they get you”. Do just that by having a surveillance camera system installed on your home.
Many of our New Jersey business and home owners are installing surveillance systems with line crossing detection. With security cameras placed at your home, you can see everything that’s going on in and around your home right in the palm of your hand. Never miss a beat, you can have the line intrusion alerts sent right to your phone.
WHAT IS LINE CROSSING DETECTION?
Line crossing detection, or intrusion detection, is a function of your DVR, NVR or IP camera. What it does is that it instantly detects any motion in a certain “set”, which is a set area that is personally set by you for your alert needs. It will send immediate alerts to your smart device directly from the DVR, NVR or IP camera. For example, you want to know when someone or something enters your driveway? So, you go into the software of your DVR, NVR or IP camera and start setting up specific areas by drawing lines across the driveway. Of course, these are not visible lines to the human eye since it is only a virtual line or perimeter you have created, but it acts just as good as a virtual tripwire. In essence, what it will do is activate the area when the area or line is breached and send you a notification either directly through the app or to your email, whichever option you choose. You can even have audible alerts right on site through an external siren or right from the DVR or NVR.
You can set this to work on schedules, certain hours during the day, certain days during the week or if you are on vacation and will be away from your home or business and you want to be alerted when someone or something breaches your “set” area or areas. While both High Definition and IP cameras or the use of an NVR in conjunction with IP cameras will both do the job, there is more flexibility with the NVR and IP cameras in terms of having multiple cameras set up for line crossing/intrusion detection. There are also sensitivity settings that do adjust to meet your needs. For example, you may not want to know when a cat or small animal crosses the line, so you would adjust the scale to measure for larger objects.
Having security cameras installed on your home is often the number one deterrent in stopping a burglar. A home that is well lit with home security camera signs prominently posted will often be passed by because no burglar wants to be caught on security surveillance. With the advances in today’s home security cameras, often the local authorities can identify or get a good look at who is committing crimes in an area by going to the home owners and retrieving the footage from their home security cameras. Today’s security cameras can send you an alert right to your phone and notify you when someone is somewhere they are not supposed to be just by having the line crossing detection perimeters set up around your home. If you want to find out how secure your home is, give Central Jersey Security Cameras a call today for a free on-site estimate. We can help you to decide what security system is best to fit your security needs or we can fill you in on how to improve your existing security. Central Jersey Security Cameras motto is to “get them before they get you”, so give us a call today at 732-333-0227 or check out our website.