Q: The other night on the news I saw that people in San Fransisco, especially in the Tenderloin, were leaving notes on their cars asking potential thieves to please not damage their car, either because there was nothing of value in it or they already had been broken into several times and there was nothing left to take. A gentleman who owns an auto glass company said he had a customer who was in his shop three times in the last few months. Once the man put a sign on his car, the gentleman from the window shop said he hadn’t seen the customer since. Go figure!
Mary Linduska, San Jose
A: Go figure, indeed. Some vandals may have a heart. Stories of the surging fear of car break-ins drew a ton of responses.
Q: Our daughter lived in San Francisco across from Dolores Park. She had a ’97 Honda CR-V (not a fancy car by any means) that was broken into three times. She learned always to close the windows, lock the doors, never leave anything in the car, and always leave the glove box and any other storage container open so would-be thieves could see there was nothing in the car to steal.
It didn’t seem to matter. When the car was finally stolen, we reported it to the insurance company.
When the adjuster called, the very first question was: “Did she have a Club?” (one of those gizmos you put on your steering wheel to lock it in place). As it turns out, the car was recovered with no apparent damage. Figuring the insurance adjusters have the data to prove what works and what doesn’t, our daughter got a Club. Ever after, many cars up and down the street where she parked were broken into, but not hers.
A: Why the Club would deter the bad folks is beyond me.
Q: I am curious about the percentage of rental cars that are broken into. I think the computer scanner stickers used by rental companies to identify their vehicles are a red flag to thieves.
Bill McDonald, Redwood City
A: There is no formal data, but many rental car employees say it’s a lot. Thieves know that a rental vehicle is likely to have bags., etc., inside. Just as baseball announcer Alex Rodriguez found out last summer when his rental car was broken into near Oracle Park.
Q: We make frequent trips to San Francisco to show visiting friends and family around. I stay with the car while my wife shows them the sights. It occurred to me that I should break a side window so would-be thieves would assume our car had already been robbed and pass it by.
Dick Zunkel, San Jose
A: Good plan.
Source: East Bay Why would the Club prevent car break-ins? Roadshow