Part 1; The Smash and Grab
In 2019 there were over 7,200 vehicle break-ins in San Diego county. Less than 3% of those were solved. Yep, that’s right. In over 97% there was no arrest and no conviction. Here’s what happens. You find your vehicle broken into. You call the police. The police tell you to go to a web site and fill out a form. That’s it! You then are responsible for fixing and paying for your broken window, and replacing all your stolen goods. Shocking right? No detectives, no CSI, no fingerprints, no DNA? Nope. You’ve watched one too many episodes of CSI. By their own admission SDPD dedicates 0 resources to solving vehicle break-ins. They have limited resources, and do not see this crime as important enough to allocate already spread thin resources.
Well what can we possibly do. First educate yourself to where this crime is likely to occur. Here are the top 5 locations for vehicle break-ins for San Diego county.
- San Diego Zoo
- Fashion Valley Mall
- Mission Valley Mall
- Cowles Mountain Trail Head
- Alvarado Hospital
So, now that I know the areas most likely to be hit. What do I do to protect myself?
First, you have to think like a criminal.
I need drugs. In order to get drugs, I need money. I don’t have money. How do I get money? I need stuff I can sell. What’s the easiest place to steal stuff without getting caught? Empty cars. What’s even safer? Places where people leave their cars for extended periods of time. Think about it for a minute. The zoo? A giant parking lot full of cars. Not just any cars but tourist cars with lots of valuables. Even better, once they go into the zoo, they are not coming back for hours. Sounds like a target rich environment to me.
I listed out the top locations in San Diego. Want to know the number one exact location?
You go into the gym. Your not coming back for at least an hour, and you left your purse, wallet and cell phone in your car. Yahtzee!
- Leave your valuables at home.
- Take your valuables with you.
- Lock your valuables in the trunk.
- Make sure all valuables are out of sight.
If not, I’m coming. I look in your car. I see something that may be valuable. I punch your window and get what I can, and I’m gone. I got my drug money the easiest and fastest way I can at the lowest risk to myself.
The “Smash and Grab.”