Protect Your Car from Rising ‘Smash & Grab’ Crimes

Protect Your Car from Rising ‘Smash & Grab’ Crimes ‘Smash and grab’ theft has spiked recently in affluent areas across the country. But you can protect your vehicle and the valuables inside with an aftermarket car alarm. In areas around Denver, Washington, D.C., Lexington, San Francisco, police have been tracking an increase in theft from parked cars. Recently, even Chester County, Pennsylvania has seen a rise in this type of ‘smash and grab’ crime. Find out more about this threat and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

Broken Car Windows and Stolen Items

It doesn’t take long for someone to become a victim. Thieves quickly spot and snatch bags, electronics and other valuables from vehicles parked on the street, in parking lots and parking garages. These incidents usually involve the perpetrator using a blunt tool to break a car glass allowing them to reach in and remove items. ‘Smash and grab’ incidents happen in just a few seconds and are usually reported in sprees, within the same area and time frame. By smashing a window, the thieves are able to steal valuable possessions left in sight, even if the glass is tinted and the doors are locked.

How to Protect Your Car

Regular Precautions

To prevent break-ins, police in Pennsylvania advice against leaving anything of value inside the vehicle. Items that are considered easy targets for car theft include:
  • Purses,
  • Backpacks,
  • Briefcases,
  • Mobile phones,
  • Laptops and tablets, and
  • GPS navigation devices.
Drivers should also park in well-lit areas, close to the nearest building.

Anti-Theft Alarms Systems

Another precaution for smart car owners includes installing an anti-theft alarm system, but buyer beware. Not all systems can effectively prevent this type of car break-in. A few years back, Tesla owners complained of a security vulnerability. The Model 3 Tesla was the target of an increasing number of ‘smash and grab’ crimes. This was because the alarm system apparently didn’t sound when the glass of the rear quarter window was broken. Thieves were then able to reach in, fold down the rear seats, and steal items from the trunk. Tesla responded by installing enhanced anti-theft systems on the Model S and Model X. The advanced systems now alerts to any motion inside the locked car. Unfortunately, not all vehicle manufacturers and factory models offer this kind of comprehensive system. But car owners have a wide range of aftermarket alarm options which can help prevent them from becoming a victim of this type of crime. Factory, optional and aftermarket alarm systems have a computer-controlled unit which triggers the siren when necessary. Systems can use one or multiple types of sensors to understand that someone is trying to break into the vehicle.

Glass Break Sensors

This kind of sensor detects certain acoustic frequencies. The noise of shattering glass is picked up by highly sensitive microphones and activates the alarm system. It’s a popular way of protecting the car cabin which should also detect tampering and blows to the glass which don’t cause breakage.

Shock Sensors

A shock sensor helps prevent theft by detecting impact on the auto body, including the door panels. If a person hits the car body or delivers a blow to the glass, for example, the system will sense the intensity of the motion. Some models have a warning signal which sounds before the regular alarm is triggered.

Pressure Sensors

A pressure sensor detects changes in the air pressure changes within the vehicle. If a window is broken or the doors are forced open, this type of sensor will trigger an audible signal.

Motion Sensors

Other alarms can be more effective at preventing theft by detecting movement inside the cabin. Cadillac, for example, provides systems which detect motion using ultrasonic waves. This type of system effectively alerts owners to break-ins and ‘smash and grab’ theft.

Expert Car Glass Repair & Replacement

If you have been the victim of a car break-in or a ‘smash and grab’ incident, we can get you safely back on the road. Anthony Volk has specialized in glass repair and replacement for over 20 years. We are your local windshield and car glass expert, servicing all car makes and models. Call Anthony Volk Glass at (610) 436-9727 or take a moment to contact us online.

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Anthony Volk

Anthony Volk is a third generation auto glass installer born and raised in West Chester, PA. With over 20 years of personal auto glass experience he and his team will bring that experience to you.