Please feel free to share this with everyone:
I drove myself and two co-workers to lunch Monday, 2/15/10. I chose a parking spot in the rear of the lot and backed into a space (no pull through available at location). This positioned my Chevy Avalanche with the passenger side doors facing away from the rest of the lot and to the end of the lot. I had a Sony digital camera lying on the console of my truck. Upon returning from lunch and entering the vehicle we noticed nothing wrong or missing from the vehicle.
Tuesday around lunch time I needed the camera and could not locate it. My first thoughts were, "I moved it or it fell to the floor mat or I removed it from my truck." After searching feverishly for two days, questioning anyone who had been close to my truck, and exhausting every possible location I could have put it, I began to have that sinking feeling I lost it or someone stole it. My new Garmin GPS had been in the truck the whole time, so I felt as if someone had entered my vehicle they would have taken it also.
Fast forward to Wednesday, I approached my truck from the passenger side to place my computer bag in the front passenger seat. As I reached to open the door I noticed there was a hole right under my door handle. My first thought was, "someone has shot my truck!" I began to think about it and inspect it a little closer and the "light" slowly began to come on. I phoned my friend who owns a body shop and asked if he had any vehicles with damage to the doors that looked like a bullet hole. "Yes, I see it all the time. Thieves have a punch and place it right under the door handle, knock a hole through, reach in and unlock it, just as if they have a key. No alarms, no broken glass or anything." I then placed a call to my insurance agent, who is also a friend, and explained it to him. I proceeded to tell him the situation and how I was puzzled that they left my GPS and all other belongings. Here is where it gets scary! "Oh no, he said, they want the break-in to be so subtle that you don't even realize it. They look at your GPS to see where "home" is. Now they know what you drive, go to your home, and if your vehicle isn't there they assume you aren't and break in your home." He says they will even leave a purse or wallet and only take one or two credit cards. By the time you realize there has been a theft, they may have already had a couple days or more to use them. This is another reason they want the break-in to go unnoticed.
I didn't realize my situation for two full days! They even give you the courtesy of re-locking your doors for you. I guess they don't want it to be broken into by other thieves! Had they found your check book, they could have taken checks from the middle section so they wouldn't be noticed.
Please remove from your GPS unit your home address as "home" ASAP! Put in your local Wal-Mart address or somewhere else! Park your vehicle in a highly visible place. I positioned mine perfectly for them and didn't realize it until it was too late. I hope this is beneficial to you and helps you keep your valuables in your possession and your vehicle from damage. Most importantly, it may keep the thieves from showing up at your home!
DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN SIGHT INSIDE THE CAR. Periodically walk around your car, daily if you are in a shopping center or other parking area.
Report thefts immediately....Bank w/missing check numbers, Credit card agencies, Police, and Insurance Companies.
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