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Basics of Theft Prevention

How to prevent it, and what to do if it occurs.



Theft prevention is extremely important. We all have things that we cherish, and

things that are of value.


It occurs every day, and it’s important to take the proper precautions to ensure

that theft doesn’t happen to you, and it’s important to know what to do should it

occur.


If you have insurance on personal items and personal property, that doesn’t

mean you don’t need to take care and precaution to prevent theft, similar to why

you drive safely even when you have car insurance.


What Items Get Stolen?

Anything of value is susceptible to theft. That could be small items such as

watches, phones, jewelry, other technology devices, etc. These are the most

stolen items because they are high priced, and easily stolen if you leave them out

of your site. Many thieves want to make money by reselling items they snatch off

of you.


Carrying items, such as purses, duffle bags, backpacks, etc., are commonly

stolen from vehicles, locker rooms, parks, schools, gyms, or other places where

you might leave them on the ground or in your vehicle. These are stolen because

of what might be in them; they’re like lottery tickets for thieves.


Larger items such as vehicles can also be stolen. Thieves can also steal your

home by forging their name into the title deed and seizing possession of it.


Identity can also be stolen, including credit cards and social security numbers.

And, items you wouldn’t consider to be of value to you may be of value to

someone else. This could include clothes, personal care products, or groceries

from your car while you are putting the shopping cart back.


How Can I Prevent Theft?

While you can’t necessarily stop thieves from stealing, you can prevent them

from stealing from you. Everywhere you go, it’s important to be conscious of how,

where, and if you have to, how long you leave your belongings somewhere.


If you leave items in your car, place them under a seat, in the console or

glovebox, under a towel, or any place where you can’t see them from outside of

the vehicle.


If you are at a gym and need to place your belongings on a shelf with no lock, or

at a park, church, or any other place where you can’t lock your belongings, make

sure you are close enough that you can keep an eye on them, should something

happen.


Always lock your car, and keep your keys in your possession or under close

supervision at all times. Make sure you have your home title under your name

and are insured.


Never share your personal information with anyone you can’t trust. Don’t enter

your credit card information or social security number to any website or online

service unless they can tell you that it’s secure/encrypted, and what it’s for. Many

people are victims of identity theft through websites because users don’t

understand how to recognize what their information is used for, or how to know

that it’s safe and secure. Put safety measures in place with your bank to identify

suspicious purchases and activity. Put a location tracking tag or card in your

wallet or purse.


Never leave watches, phones, jewelry, or other valuable devices or accessories

somewhere you can’t see them when in public. If you are by yourself at a

restaurant or coffee shop, never leave your phone on the table when you go to

the bathroom. Don’t leave it on the bench when you go to re-rack your weights at

the gym. Don’t leave your watch on the counter in the locker room. Always wear

your valuable items or keep them on you and in your immediate possession.


Lastly, insure your valuable items. Many valuables can be included in your

homeowner’s or renter’s policy, and many small insurance companies offer

insurance for individual items, such as fancy watches or accessories. Shop

around to find one that works for you, if your possessions can’t be covered by

one of our carriers’ home policies.


What To Do Should Theft Happen To You

We hope it never comes to this, but for many of us it’s only a matter of time.

Statistically, 1 in 10 people will steal multiple times in their life; regular theft is a

far smaller percentage, but there is still a surprisingly good chance that theft will

occur to you.


If you are a victim of theft? Don’t panic. Follow Dale Carnegie’s advice: think

about what is the worst possible outcome, recognize it’s not that bad, and then

work out a solution with a clear mind. Sure, it’s unfortunate, but it’s not the end of

the world. Heck, it’s probably not worth ruining your day over. In the grand

scheme of things, it’s just an inconvenience and it will be solved in no time. If

anything, it’s an excuse for a new phone!


Alert any authorities that are present, whether that be facility employees, security

guards, or the local police for larger theft.


Take necessary steps to replace what was stolen. If it was something expensive

such as a phone, a car, or valuable jewelry, make sure it’s insured and go

through your carrier to get it replaced. For smaller items, a little budgeting may

be necessary to replace it, but that’s okay. It won’t ruin you. For identity theft such

as credit/debit cards or government issued identification cards, call your bank

immediately and disable your cards and accounts. Unsubscribe from any

services that may seem untrustworthy, or that you signed up for or purchased

immediately before the theft occurred. But for the most part, you can easily

replace what was stolen in a short time, with little expense on your part.


Being a victim of theft is no fun. That’s why October is theft prevention month;

let’s do what we can to help ourselves and our friends and family to insure and

protect our valuable items.

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