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Dear PoP – Should we say something to tourists?


Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoP,

Saturday I took a trip to the zoo and saw six cars in a row parked on Connecticut Ave with a GPS device in plain view on the dash. The seventh car was in the process of being locked by a young couple with a child in the stroller. I debated whether I should stop and say something friendly to them about putting their GPS away as it was pretty clear they were ready to leave their car and it was still on the dash. Ultimately I decided to mind my own business but I’m not sure that was the right decision.

Considering that tourist season is coming up and more and more people unaccustomed to taking these personal safety precautions will be coming to visit, I wondered what your readers think – should we say something to tourists that we see who are leaving things in their car, leaving purses unzipped with items easily reachable, etc? Most of us wouldn’t hesitate to say something polite if a tourist is standing in the left aisle of the escalator, but for some reason I felt it would be too ‘preach-y’ to advise a person on how to handle their personal property.”

Well this is actually a tough question because I feel like during the day on Connecticut Ave, NW with all that foot traffic you won’t be likely to get your car window smashed. However, I’ve gone on record a thousand times encouraging people not to leave anything visible in their cars – particularly electronics like GPS. So even though I think a Connecticut Ave window smashing by the zoo is unlikely – I don’t think there is any harm in advising tourists to secure them/take them out of view. What do you guys think – is that too preachy?

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