Car Break-Ins: Don’t give them a Chance

Car Thief

Car break-ins seem to rise every year. With the advancement of technology, it is becoming easier for criminals to steal your property.

Out of Sight

Most criminals that break into cars are casual opportunists. Leaving things in plain view is asking for trouble. It’s best not to keep these items in your car or at least hide them from view.

  • Phone
  • Purse or wallet
  • Laptop
  • Electronics (media players, handheld games, etc.)
  • Shopping bags
  • Money (don’t keep your change/coins in view)

Bluetooth Scanners

Thieves have found a new way to tell if you have a device like phones or laptops in your car. Bluetooth scanners are used to target cars with electronics.

It’s as simple as installing an app on a cell phone to start scanning for devices. The scanner can list the specific types of devices and even display pictures of them.

So the criminal can drive through a parking lot and know exactly where your device is located. It takes less than a minute to smash a window, take your device, and be off to the next car.

What can you do? The best thing to do is NOT to leave the device in your car. But if you do have to leave it, put your device into airplane mode or completely turn it off. Bluetooth signals are still active when sleeping, so closing your lid is not enough.

For additional protection, you can place those devices into a Faraday fabric sleeve or wrap them in a Faraday blanket.

Car Theft

Once someone breaks into your car to steal valuables, they now have the opportunity to steal your whole vehicle. Always follow best practices to reduce the chance of getting your car stolen.

  • Always lock your car (even when driving)
  • Close all windows when parked. (don’t forget the sunroof)
  • Avoid high crime areas when possible
  • Never leave your car unattended when running
  • Park in well-lit areas


After parking, take a moment to look around and follow your gut. If you feel concerned in any way or something doesn’t feel right, look for another location to park. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Just trust that sense you have, telling you something is wrong.

Break-In Tracker

Some police departments provide details on break-ins in their city. The San Francisco Police Department does this. All breaks reported to the SFPD get updated daily to this Break-In Tracker.

This is great information for tourists visiting the city. This won’t stop the break-in but at least you can know if you are in a risky area.

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