‘Tis The Season: Protect Yourself from Car Theft and Damages This Christmas
Christmas is less than two weeks away, and Polk County shoppers are out in full-force acquiring last-minute Christmas gifts, wrapping needs, and carts full of ingredients for all their Christmas goodies. However, someone else is also out in full-force, with a much less jolly motive. Petty criminals love this time of year, because parking lots of major shopping areas become their playground. Vehicles full of brand-new gifts, and sometimes cash, are plentiful, and since parking lots are so crowded, they can do their work with a decreased risk of being seen.
Here in Lakeland, shopping centers like the Lakeland Square Mall have increased security and parking lot surveillance at this time of year, but even that might not protect your car. However, there are precautions you can take to keep your vehicle, and your items inside, safe and sound. Try some of these tips to make sure you don’t fall victim to car theft or damage this holiday season:
- Lock your doors! This seems simple, but in the bustle of Christmas shopping, it can be easy to forget to turn around and hit that button to make sure all doors on your car are locked. Don’t have automatic locks from your key fob? Take the time and effort to physically lock the door before walking away from your car, even if you’re only going in for “one last gift.” It takes very little time for a thief to do a LOT of damage.
- Keep Things Under Wraps. We aren’t just talking about those pretty wrapped Christmas packages! When you leave your vehicle, any already-purchased gifts, as well as any items of value like phones, cameras, computers, tablets, etc., should be concealed as securely as possible in your car. If you can, keep all of these items in the trunk of your vehicle if they aren’t going in with you. If you don’t have an enclosed trunk, or your car is an SUV or minivan with an open cargo area, use a cover or the underneath area of your seats to hide as many things as possible. Criminals prowling parking lots will hit cars that obviously have a lot of payoff first, and you don’t want yours to be on the short list.
- Double check your car alarm. Before heading off on your Christmas shopping excursion, check to make sure your car alarm is in working order and functions the way it’s supposed to when you lock your vehicle. It will make a thief think twice if they touch your car and it starts blaring. They don’t want the extra attention.
- Park close. If you can, park close to the building, or under lights. Darkness is the favorite cover for many prowlers, and not only does it make it easier for them to break into and raid your car, but it’s also more dangerous for you. Those with sinister intentions seek out cars parked in darkened areas, because it’s easier to victimize the driver without being spotted by other shoppers or by parking lot security. Parking in well-lit areas and attempting to stay close to other vehicles is a great way to gain an extra level of protection.
If you, or someone you know, have been affected by holiday theft this year while out enjoying the Christmas festivities, give us a call. Sessums Law Group provides representation for those who have been victimized by not only vehicle theft and related damages, but also for those who have been in accidents whether in the crowded parking lots or out on our busy roadways. Our goal is to win the case and get the compensation you deserve when the unexpected happens, because WE STAND FOR YOU!