Warning to Christmas shoppers

A Wicklownews.net reader wants to warn Christmas shoppers after her car was broken into while Christmas shopping at the Square in Tallaght on Wednesday morning.

The woman and a friend returned to their car which was parked in the underground carpark within the centre only to find the car completely ransacked and the CD player gone, on viewing CCTV it was found the camera did not cover the area where the car was parked.

Below are a few hints to prevent your car being broken into over the Christmas period.

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Store hopping at Christmas time is common practice. Leaving gifts in your car while hitting the next store could leave you the victim of theft. Are you covered for stolen Christmas presents when they are stored in your car?

Items in your vehicle are actually not covered on car insurance policies. Car insurance would cover any damage to your vehicle as long as you purchased comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive covers vandalism, which would include a shattered window or a car door damaged from being pried open.

Christmas presents stolen from your car would actually be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. This biggest downfall of having personal items from your car covered under your home policy is the deductible is often quite high. Also, keep in mind that if you are a renter and do not have renters insurance, you won’t have any coverage at all.   Damage to your car plus stolen items could result in two separate claims and two deductibles.

It is unfortunate you have to worry about theft during the holidays.  With a few simple steps you can better protect the items left in your car.  Keep these things in mind as you are out hitting the shops in the coming weeks!

  • Lock your doors and close your windows—even for quick stops. Many thefts are simple “crimes of opportunity”, such as an unlocked door.
  • Don’t leave mobile phones, sunglasses, bags or other personal property sitting on the seat or floor of your car. If spotted by a thief, a smash and grab can occur in less than 15 seconds.
  • Covering items with a blanket or jacket isn’t a great idea because it might make a thief think you are hiding something expensive.
  • Keep purchases in the trunk if possible.
  • Park in a well lit area of the parking lot.
  • If you are at the shops and are bringing items back to your car then going back in to do some more shopping, move your car to a different spot.  Thieves watch for people to do that.  Moving your car is a simple way to elude them.

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