A Tutorial of How Not to Park Your Car

I hate being lectured but this was just insane. Never ever leave your GPS in plain sight (preferably don’t leave it in the car at all.)

Also never leave a bag in your back seat even if it is only filled with gym clothes you can easily end up with a smashed window.

And def. don’t do either on an isolated road. Whoever parked this car got very very lucky.

47 Comment

  • Thank you PoP. There are so many posts that start with “Be careful out there folks! I left my laptop in my car and it got jacked!” and I just wanna be like “no shit, you moron.” Having grown up in Latin America, I always know to lock my car and put on the club–it’s second nature. But I understand if there are people who’ve lived in a suburb and never lived in a city their whole lives and do not understand that hiding your bag under the carseat is not going to outsmart people who carjack. The above photos are ludicrous.

    • I live in the suburbs and I always lock my car and never leave anything valuable in sight. I keep my GPS in the glove compartment and have never used the suction cup (thieves look for the suction cup, or marks from it and break into cars looking for a hidden GPS.)

      I had my car stolen once. This was when it was parked in a nice NE neighborhood, and the one time I parked it in DC without the Club on the steering wheel.

    • i am that moron: one day last summer i was going on 3 hrs of sleep, parked my car late at night in woodley park, left all the doors unlocked, my drivers-side window down, and an ipod on the front seat.

      i was not happy w/ myself the next morning.

  • NCH blog had a post of someone who had their car broken into, and what did he have in there? An Apple Macbook Pro!?!? He deserved to get that stolen.

  • this is simultaneously hilarious and depressing.

  • New York plates. I’m guessing country new york, not NYC.

  • Some people don’t live their lives in constant fear of thieves. I’d rather never worry about securing all my belongings every single time I get out of my car in perpetuity and then deal with the off chance that I am the victim of theft. Hey, I have insurance and can cover the 100 bucks for a new gps. What’s the big deal?

    If you disassemble your gps every time you use it and securely stow it somewhere, then the thieves have won and you are already a victim!

    • Do you leave your doors unlocked at night, too?

      • No…but worryin about personal violence is not the same as constantly worrying about a potential property crime. Stuff can always be replaced.

        • Think of it like washing your hands after you pee. Or flossing. Just develop the habit and do it. It’s about being smart, not fearful.

        • Personal violence??? Nobody wants to come into your house and beat the crap out of you, but there are plenty of people who want to come into your house or car and take your expensive electronics.

          I have to wonder what this person’s insurance company would think if they knew this is how they leave their car sitting, on an isolated street in a city that is overrun with this type of crime.

      • No…but worrying about personal violence is not the same as constantly worrying about a potential property crime. Stuff can always be replaced.

        • I’m guessing you’ve never had your car window smashed.

          My time is sufficiently valuable that I don’t relish waiting for cops to arrive, filing reports with police and insurance, taping up the broken window so the interior doesn’t get wet, scheduling a time for the repair and waiting around a few hours while the glass is replaced.

          Once is enough. Just take the stuff out of the car.

    • So my insurance rates will go up to pay for your new GPS?

      • Doubtful I’d file an insurance claim for 100 bucks, BUT even if I did that’s my fault? Not the thief’s fault? Amazing blame the victim mentality.

    • I respectfully disagree. First of all, if your car gets broken into, you have to worry about more than just replacing the $100 GPS. You also have to deal with a broken window and not just the insurance but the HASSLE of having to deal with it! Second of all, putting away a GPS and stowing a bag in the trunk takes absolutely no time, especially when you make it a habit. Maybe I also just try not to keep too much STUFF in my car! (Not a judgment – my house is a wreck but oddly enough I need my car neat!)

      • I’d rather conserve the hassle for one big moment if I am the victim of a property crime than worrying about it in small increments every day of my life. I agree that a broken window would sort of be a hassle, but is it really that big of a deal? I live in a city, stuff happens. Why get all stressed about it?

        • I think everyone’s point is that you can’t just snap your fingers and have your car fixed and your GPS replaced. It’s hugely annoying to have to deal with this sort of thing, even if your insurance covers all the costs and your rates don’t go up because of it.

          • Call Triple A. Order new GPS on amazon.com Snap!

          • Randall, feel free to leave your GPS and stuff in your car. Then you’ll understand when someone smashes your windows in. Not everyone has the money to replace their stolen goods. I don’t know why you have a problem with people trying to prevent break ins.

      • What Peachy said.

        Randall Stevens, maybe you are an exceptionally laidback and chilled-out person. But for most people, having to deal with the hassle of filing a police report, taping a trash bag over the window and hoping no water comes in, taking the car in to have the window replaced, etc., etc. far outweighs the “hassle” of collecting your stuff to take with you when you leave your car.

        • My wife and I share three cars so there is always a spare and we park indoors. So I drop the car with a broken window off and pay someone to fix it. Is it really worth stressing over?

          • I don’t understand where you’re getting the “stressing over” part from. Checking to make sure I didn’t leave my phone in the car is hardly a stressful event. I do think owning and maintaining three cars would be stressful though.

          • Park all three cars outdoors with your wifes purse hanging in the back seat. Then pay money that you shouldn’t have to for a new window. There, it’s so easy

    • Unless you live in your car I don’t see how it’s much of a hassle. If you’ve lived in DC a while you probably don’t use the GPS very often, so it doesn’t need to be suctioned to the window as a default. Your iPod, cell phone, purse, laptop, and wallet are things you probably need once you leave the car, so they’re coming with you anyway. And taking things like gym bags with you is just part of keeping the car neat.

  • I don’t see too many cars with the Club anymore — do people think this is worth it to avoid having a car stolen? We are thinking of purchasing a car and live in an area where cars are stolen from time to time. Is the club worthwhile? For some reason I thought it was outdated — but I don’t know why (and realize that doesn’t make sense). Thanks!

    • The club seems to work pretty well. Not that it’s undefeatable or anything, it’s just a pain for a thief to deal with, and they are all about soft targets. They don’t particularly want *your* car – they want *a* car. It’s the equivalent of using a heavy u-lock on your bike.

      I think the club is becoming less common as more cars are coming with an immobilizer as standard equipment.

    • Maybe just get a stick shift.


      The extra bonus is that you’ll have an easy out if people ask to borrow it.

      • Awesome, two great arguements for manual transmission! Adding that since it is probably a lot more difficult to talk on your cell phone while driving with standard, I’d like to know whether drivers with automatic have a larger % of distracted driving accidents.

        • Automatic transmission drivers do account for a larger pecentage of distracted driving incidents than manual transmission drivers. Right handed drivers also make up a larger pecentage of distracted driving incidents than left handed drivers.

          Snark aside, I doubt having a manual transmission would materially distract the majority of drivers who would otherwise be fiddling with a cell phone in an automatic transmission car. A lot of phone fiddling happens at times when you don’t need to shift gears – coasting, constant speed, etc. I’ve also seen people without *any* hands on the wheel looking down at their phones.

    • Get a club. They are relatively inexpensive and will keep your car safe. I had my car stolen once in a wealthy urban Ohio neighborhood and once in a more dangerous SE DC neighborhood. I’ve been using a club for 3 yrs, no more break ins or car thefts. I agree with the commenters, it is a hassle to do all the police reporting, waiting, paperwork, and repairs, it is much simpler to lock your car up.

    • I’ve always used the Club on my car.

      I wouldn’t consider it a guarantee against your car being stolen, but it definitely serves as a deterrent. And that’s a considerable benefit for a very low cost.

      I also like to think (though maybe this doesn’t hold up in reality) that a potential thief who sees the Club on my steering wheel and nothing on the seats or in the footwells is going to assume that if I’ve taken those precautions, I probably don’t have anything of value in the trunk either, and that he might as well move on to a more promising target.

    • I got a club for my car because my car was broken into just for the airbags. My car has been fine since then

  • i get nervous about leaving an umbrella in my car. Even in “nice” parts of DC I’ve seen sketch dudes cruzing on bikes past cars just looking in to see what’s in em. But obviously, it’s the nice parts of DC where you’ll find mac book pros in plain sight.

  • I’m more disturbed by the sodas in the back seat. Seriously, you should NOT be drinking that shit.

  • After having our car broken into with nothing in sight (in AdMo/Mt.P), and nothing of value to steal, we started leaving the console and the glove compartment ajar so that any potential thieves could see that there was nothing to steal.

  • So this car was parked on the street and you just took some photos of its interior to make a point? That seems pretty invasive.

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