Thefts from parked automobiles, otherwise known as, "smash and grab" losses are on the rise in the Portland and Vancouver Metro Area.
Even a smart insurance agent is no match for a clever auto thief with time to kill. Just ask EPB&B President, Marc Baker, who has been the victim of two such losses in the past few months. "Don't leave ANYTHING in your car" says Baker. Even if you try your best to hide items left in your car, a thief will break the window for something as insignificant as some loose change or a gym bag. Experts say it takes only a couple of seconds to smash the window, reach in and grab whatever is lying on the seat.
Smash and grab thieves have been known to hide out and watch places like golf courses and trailheads where they know folks are likely to leave valuables in the car for an extended period of time. They know that they have plenty of time to get in and get the good stuff before you are likely to return to your vehicle.
Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker offers the following additional suggestions to keep from becoming a victim of a smash and grab:
- If you must leave your golf clubs, briefcase or laptop in the car, move the items to the truck where they are completely hidden from view. Don't think that they will be safe on the floor or under the seat if they can be seen from the window.
- Consider a car alarm with a light or visible reminder that can been seen from the window.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- If you are a victim of a smash and grab, contact police right away.
Every insurance policy is different, but usually whatever is stolen is covered under your homeowners policy and the window is covered under your auto policy. That means double the deductibles. If you happen to become a victim of a smash and grab, contact EPB&B and we will help walk you through the claims process.