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
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
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
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
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.