Several weeks ago I accidentally left one of my car doors unlocked.
I had loaded two bags of clothes that I planned to donate to a thrift store the next morning into my backseat.
At 2 a.m. a police officer rang my doorbell and showed me a large mess caused by my car locking negligence. Well, that and some jerk who dumped the bags in the street.
The clothes lined my driveway and street. Two used purses from the donation bags were located down the block. I never ever leave valuables in the car — learned the hard way with a bashed window at White Rock Lake years ago. But I know now that potential thieves often are just looking for an unlocked door, and that if they find it locked, they will move on.
A neighbor of mine who owns a fine surveillance system caught the process in action.
(Click on any image to enlarge and view slideshow)
A little after 2 a.m. a man wearing a cap, long camouflaged shorts, a reddish T-shirt and a backpack casually tried the door on a car parked in the driveway. He appears to be trying to hide his face as he approaches the car. He does seem to scan the inside of the car, and might have broken a window had he seen something of value. Based on many of the police reports I have seen, these thieves usually are looking for electronics such as iPhones or computers or guns. (There are plenty of reports out there of thieves stealing guns left in cars).
Moral: remove all valuables from car. Lock the car even if it contains no valuables. Keep them moving along.