Act of vandalism on your car: Tips and solutions (British Columbia)
When leaving for work in the morning, after having had lunch with your co-workers or even when exiting the grocery store…
All are instances where you could find your vehicle with a broken window and stolen contents.
Major urban centres are obviously more at risk due to the larger number of vehicles. In Vancouver, for example, police reported that theft from vehicles had increased by 42% between August 2015 and August 2016. Although theft is on the rise in the area, police are not excluding the fact that the crimes may be the result of a handful of vandals and not an organized network.
Acts of vandalism can affect anyone, at anytime. However, here are 5 behaviours to adopt in order to protect you from theft.
These few pieces of advice will significantly reduce the risk of having your windows broken and the contents of your vehicle stolen.
Don’t leave anything in your vehicle!
- Electronic gadgets, a cell phone charger, a gym bag or a few dollars will attract thieves.
- Tip: Hide your possessions in the trunk before you reach your destination so as not to attract attention.
Have some common sense!
- Leaving a spare key in your vehicle or letting it run while you do an errand gives thieves a helping hand.
- Tip: Always lock your doors and close your windows and sunroof properly before exiting your vehicle.
Park your vehicle in a well-lit area or somewhere under surveillance!
- Former thieves have said so themselves: they commit their crimes in the dark and far away from passers-by.
- Tip: In the street, park your vehicle under a streetlight or in a busy sector. In a parking lot, avoid dark places and park in a high-circulation area.
Strengthen your vehicle’s security system by taking these measures:Equipping your vehicle with an alarm system triggered by suspicious movements will protect it from an intrusion.
Did you know that you could add a remote starter to your alarm system?
- In fact, on some models with a smartphone application, you even have the option of being informed when a window is broken by receiving an alert as soon as the window is shattered.
- Tip: Installing a simple blinking light inside your vehicle can dissuade thieves.
Have antitheft marking applied to your vehicle and make proof of it visible!
- The Automobile Protection Association predicts a reduction in theft rates by up to 50% with antitheft marking.
- Tip: In many cases, antitheft marking can reduce your yearly automobile insurance costs. Ask your insurance provider.
You have taken all of these precautions but are nevertheless the victim of theft and your car window has been broken?
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Try to remain calm and make sure you are safe before touching anything. Alert the police and contact a Speedy Glass expert, who will accompany you throughout the process.
The 5 steps to follow in case your car window is broken and your property is stolen:
Step 1: Call the police and fill out a report
A number of police services offer the possibility of filling out an online report yourself, without having to go to a neighbourhood police station. You will receive a file number for follow-ups with your insurance provider. Make sure to take a few photos and take stock of anything that was stolen.
Step 2: Secure the vehicle and contact an automobile professional
Do not hesitate to follow these few pieces of advice to secure your vehicle before taking it to a professional:
A. Wearing gloves (the thickest ones you have) and, if possible, safety goggles, use a vacuum to remove only the large pieces of glass on the floor.
Do not touch the pieces that remain on the window or on the rubber.
Be careful! You could get injured from the broken glass. It is best to let the Speedy Glass technicians do the rest of the work. They have all the equipment needed to safely pick up the broken glass in your vehicle.
Depending on where your car is located, Speedy Glass’s mobile service may even be able to travel to you with one of its mobile units.
B. Take a very thick transparent plastic (like a plastic tablecloth) to cover the damaged window and cut the piece of plastic according to the shape of the window using an X-ACTO knife or a pair of scissors.
C. Install the plastic using adhesive tape such as Gorilla Tape or Duct Tape, which won’t harm the paint. Make sure you cover the entire window in order to avoid air holes.
Once the window has been secured, do not forget to contact an auto glass professional like Speedy Glass as soon as possible. Our experts will take care of the rest.
Step 3: Have the damages assessed
Speedy Glass specialists can repair broken windows, but you may have to visit an auto body shop if other parts of the vehicle have been damaged (damaged frame, key marks, damaged door handles). Speedy Glass technicians can refer you to a network of expert affiliates.
Step 4: Make an appointment with Speedy Glass to have your broken windows repaired
This Speedy Glass service is usually offered on the same day and a mobile service is also available if the damage caused during theft was to the windshield. Do not hesitate to contact Speedy Glass for more information.
Step 5: File your claim with the correct insurance provider!
Few people know this, but property not part of your vehicle is covered by your home insurance and you must file a claim separate from the vehicle damage claim.
• Your auto insurance covers all the material damages to the vehicle: broken windows, stolen car radio, scratches, damaged window frame, damaged doors, etc.
• Your home insurance will cover the theft of any property not part of your vehicle: sports equipment, electronics, clothing, shoes, sun glasses, etc. It is suggested that you keep a receipt for all valuable items; some insurers may ask for these when filing a claim.
• Rest assured that Speedy Glass will handle the entire claim process with your insurance company in case of a broken window.