Filled with family and friends, the holidays should be the happiest time of the year, but in the upcoming weeks, many people may be victims of theft in places like shopping malls and retail centers. Though disappointing at any time, a theft during the holidays can put a damper on your entire season.
“During this time of year, thieves increase their activity, especially in parked cars where they see packages, coats and shopping bags,” says Brent Cooper, owner of Brent Cooper Insurance in Dallas. “They seem to be doing their holiday shopping without paying.”
According to Cooper, a lot of people don’t know that auto break-ins come with two costs — both in addition to the initial heartbreak of losing gifts or personal items. Because damage to their car is paid for under Comprehensive Coverage, and the loss of personal property is covered under home or renters insurance, the out-of-pocket cost for two deductibles only adds to victims’ distress.
Though not limited to the holiday season, third-row seat theft has become an all too common crime seen in recent months throughout the Park Cities and surrounding areas. These thieves target full-size SUVs, including Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban models, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades.
To deter third-row seat theft from your vehicle, Cooper suggests removing the seats and storing them when not needed, as seats are easily put back in when necessary.
If removing the seats altogether isn't an option for your family, according to experts, a cable lock can provide added protection to third-row seats. Cable locks can be cut, however, the extra time required will slow a thief down and decrease the chances of a completed theft. Another option for owners is to have their vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into the seat row.
To avoid these costs, Cooper recommends five tips to prevent thieves from targeting your car for holiday thefts or third-row seat thefts:
- Remove shopping bags, gifts or valuables from your vehicle.
- Hide anything you must leave in your car.
- Park your car in a well-lit area.
- If possible, get your car off the street and into your garage, when parked at home.
- Stow your belongings before you arrive in the parking lot, as thieves could be watching while shoppers conceal valuables in their trunk.
If you have questions about your coverage regarding a vehicle break-in, call Brent Cooper, a Dallas-based State Farm agent, at 214-987-1995.
Serving the insurance needs of the Dallas neighborhoods of University Park, Highland Park, Lake Highlands, Preston Hollow, Oak Cliff, and Coppell.