How to prevent car-breakins

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While car break-ins are a constant problem from residents across the metro Atlanta area, experts break down why a thief may target a particular car over another.

“You have to think about your car as a slot machine. What [thieves] are trying to do is get lucky,” said Chris Timmons, the Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney with the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office.

Timmons has prosecuted plenty of car thieves during his career and helped get them off the streets, and said keeping thieves from smashing into your vehicle goes beyond keeping electronics and wallets out of sight.

“You may be thinking 'I have my phone in my pocket.' But the person breaking into your car doesn't know that until your car window’s broken," he said.

Things that drivers should keep hidden include:

  • car chargers
  • electronic cords
  • windshield mounts
  • loose change
  • eyeglasses
  • any loose bags or belongings

The residue from a suction cup on your GPS or phone mount could be a tell-tale sign something may be stashed in a glove compartment, and should also be wiped clean.

“A perfect car, an A-plus car, should be looking like it came out of the showroom,” Timmons said.

The more possessions that are visible, the higher the chance your car could be a target.