Had Vehicle Stolen This Week Now I'm Feeling Very Unsafe

Updated on April 16, 2011
S.T. asks from Kansas City, KS
8 answers

We had my husbands work van stolen out of our driveway earlier this week they did find it yesterday downtown. Found out last night walking around the neighborhood that there were multiple car break ins the same night. I now feel very unsafe and scared and don't know what to do! If you have been through something like this can you help me out PLEASE!! Thank you

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answers from Pittsburgh on

It's a violating feeling. But odds are you were a victim of random crime. It happens to people all the time. It doesn't mean it's more or less likely to happen again.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

A few years ago we had someone try to break in our house they broke the garage window and came in through the door, yes they actually got in the house. We fortunately have two very large dogs they didn't get very far we were not home but came home to the dogs sitting by the open door and footprints in my mud room and the broken window in the garage. I didnt sleep for a month I was terrified I would get up and check all the doors and windows three or four times a night make sure the dogs were in the house that all the outside lights and the (new) alarm were set. Finally I talked to therapist it is rational fear that became irrational. If you cant get through this in a few weeks it really does help to have someone talk you through it.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Of course you feel scared. Your property rights have been violated. That's enough to turn one's stomach upside down and one's brains inside out. What might such people do next?

You might talk with the police about whether they have been able to find out anything about the rash of events in your area. Meanwhile, keep your doors locked. Always put the cars in the garage if you can; if you can't, make sure they're totally locked and never leave ANYTHING valuable in them. Spotting a wallet or purse in a car, smashing the window, grabbing it, and dashing away can be accomplished in less than a minute. (This is second-hand information; I haven't tried it personally.)

Do you have a neighborhood watch program? Talk to the people around you and drum up some interest, and then call the police and ask if they can set up such a program for you. If it's done the way it's been done here, they'll teach you how to protect your own property and how to watch out for each other.

In addition to having a chance to talk to the people who live near you (a rare occurrence in some areas), the training is good. Several years ago I looked out my back window and noticed a couple of guys on the back porch of the folks in back of us. I thought at first it was the family's grown boys coming in the back way. But because of the Neighborhood Watch training, I recognized that they were not acting the way a family member would act. I called the police (scary), and the two teenage boys were caught a couple of days later, after having accomplished several break-ins and attempted several others.

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answers from Columbia on

Last Christmas (my sons 1st) we had a little apt just me and him in a nice nieghborhood and some hoodrats stole my car with my new carseat and all. It was a crime of convenience and nothing more. If it makes you feel safer take some self defense classes and head to the shooting range. You have every right to protect your home.

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answers from Cumberland on

Well-it was probably just kids-they want property, cash, excitement and to wreak havoc. They may come back to your neighborhood if you are perceived as an easy target. A few strategically placed video cameras with warning labels on your doors and windows will help. Keep your outside lights on at night-get a "Beware of dog" sign-that can also be a strong deterrent. Get some extra locks installed and change them if they got away with keys. Have a meeting with your neighbors-there is strength in numbers. May God watch over you and your family

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

This sounds like the work of local kids. Change the locks on your house and just be extra vigiliant about how you go about things. Do not let this
take over your life. These kids were probably just looking for money and
out for a joy ride. Take care.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

That will happen even in the best of neighborhoods. Thieves know that we feel safe enough to leave our cars open. A lot of times it is the bad teenagers in the area who do it. The good thing is that in the suburbs it is usually just cars and not houses. I would be more afraid if there were house breakins or violent crimes. Just make sure to lock things up outside and you should be fine.

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answers from Washington DC on

If your neighborhood has been otherwise quite safe, especially if it does not have person-on-person crimes like assaults, you probably are going to be fine.

The car break-ins are pretty common. Even here, in a very safe area, there will be periods when cars get broken into -- and most of the time the cars were unlocked and the thieves just opened the door.

Sometimes groups of thieves "work" certain areas, sweeping through them seeking specific makes of automobiles, or targeting just one thing like hubcaps, or just going after stuff in unlocked cars, so there will be a rash of thefts or break-ins of cars over a few nights and then it stops -- sounds like what happened in your area.

Several years ago the hubcaps on our older car were stolen TWICE in about two weeks and the local police had a community information session; there had been a big rash of hubcap thefts at the same time there was a rash of minor car vandalizing ("keying" and scratches, mostly). The police were working with our larger county police and said they had word from other departments along the East Coast that a group of specialized thieves was working up and down the coast stealing hubcaps to order from certain models of cars, and they said that these kinds of groups will sweep through an area and then disappear, which is what happened. The vandalism was separate and the cops already knew who it was and had dealt with it (it was a local resident with serious psychiatric issues who was known to the police already and was sent for appropriate treatment).

The local police may know much more about these thefts than you realize. Ask them if they would be willing to hold a community meeting if others are frightened as you are.

Meanwhile: Yes, neighborhood watch as someone mentioned is a good idea. So is one that is so easy but so rarely used: Leave on your exterior lights at night, every night, all night. Our police strongly advised everyone to do so and make it a habit. We always have on our front and side porch lights and we have a motion sensor light at our back, basement door. That might even have helped with the hubcap thefts since our front porch light is strong and illuminates all the way out to the street where the cars are.

If your neighborhood has been otherwise safe, and you've had only minor "property crimes" and not personal ones like assaults or home break-ins where the homeowners are actually in the house at the time -- you're going to be OK. Form a watch, turn on the lights and get the neighbors to do so, get motion sensors, talk to the police about more frequent patrols, but do NOT let this make you a prisoner in your own house or afraid to go around your own neighborhood!

1 mom found this helpful
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