Smash and Grab? Ways to Deter it From Happening to Your Property
A smash and grab is a form of burglary that involves an unexpected raid or attack, usually out in public. The distinctive characteristic of this crime is that it relies heavily upon surprise and speed to be executed. Usually there is a barrier to be broken or invaded, such as a car or store window. However, these crimes also include grabbing valuables from vehicles without necessarily smashing the car windows.
Any type of car is susceptible to experience a smash and grab but minivans are targets most of the time because of their size. When it comes to convertible cars, thieves look for anything that is unattended that they could easily run off with. Regular cars are often targeted when they are in under-lit and secluded areas as well as parked in broad daylight. Teenagers and adults under twenty-five have been known to go on smash and grab joy rides just for the thrill of it and end up in head-on accidents involving police.
Therefore, even if the car has nothing in it of immediate value, the vehicle could easily become a target. It is important for motorists to remember to take extra precaution at places like amusement parks and other venues that can also be less obvious for break-ins in the daytime. For example, in some Orlando Florida residential areas, a number of smash and grabs have occured during the day.
Smash and grabs can occur in any economic level of neighborhood. However, they seem to occur in large tourist attraction cities like Orlando and in areas where there is less police available. If you become a smash and grab victim in Florida, consult an Orlando auto accident lawyer to assist you with sorting out unplanned events. What thieves typically look for are purses, mobile devices, high end car stereos or other items of value. Below are some tips on how to exercise better precaution to reduce the chance of a smash and grab incident.
1. Use common sense when traveling at all times. Don’t take chances. If something doesn’t feel right, turn around and go in another direction. When coming to a stop at a red light, slow down so that the green light appears before stopping. If it seems as though people are just hanging out at an intersection, try to turn if possible rather than sit at the red light.
2. Know your surrounding. Do not pull off on the side of a deserted street to use the phone. Instead, find a restaurant or other establishment where there are people around. Drivers who are distracted are some of the more vulnerable as they check their cell phone, smoke cigarettes, eat, drink or do anything that causes them to be unfocused. Distracted driving is also a precursor to a high number of car accidents.
3. Lock it up. Thieves often grab handbags and other items simply by opening up the car door while the car is stuck in traffic. In fact, this is generally how a car jacking begins.
4. Refrain from leaving purses, laptops, backpacks, briefcases, shopping bags, mobile devices, money, keys or anything else of value in plain view on any of the car seats, even when in the vehicle. Rather than put these items in the trunk, take then with you. Some smash and grabs occur when thieves see people putting valuables in the trunk.
5. Install protective window films and car alarms that are especially made to prevent smash and grabs.
6. Light it up. Keep the car visible. Parking in crowded areas where there is a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic is also a good tactic.
Finally, if a car is tailing too closely, particularly late at night, this could be a red flag of possible danger and an intent to perpetrate a smash and grab. Pull the car over to a well lit establishment and either contact or drive over to the police station as soon as possible.
Giovanna O’Neal is a freelance blogger who enjoys making people aware of how to keep their items from becoming targets to criminals. She researched Orlando auto accident lawyers, Steinger, Iscoe and Greene, for information on their experience litigating auto accidents.
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