I’ve written about this subject before but unfortunately, it seems to be getting worse, especially in my home state of California. Since the holidays are here and many people will be traveling with luggage and gifts in their car, we all need a reminder.

First of all, if you’re not familiar with the term ‘smash and grab’, you will be soon since it’s a negative trend that’s getting more and more popular. A smash and grab is when criminals spot something of value in your car and they take a hammer or a device to smash your window and quickly grab your belongings. Or it’s when a large number of these criminals go into a store and just smash the countertops and grab the goods.

It literally takes them seconds and I mean seconds. If you don’t believe me, see this video taken earlier this week in San Francisco and posted to Instagram.


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It’s sickening, right?

Last week, YouTuber Casey Neistat made headlines after his car was broken into in Venice Beach and he tweeted “so our cars got robbed this morning because Los Angeles is a crime riddled 3rd world shithole of a city but tremendous appreciation and gratitude to the hardworking officers at the @LAPDWestLA who not only arrested the motherfucker but they got all of our stolen goods back.”

Seth Rogan chimed in with, “Dude I’ve lived here for over 20 years. You’re nuts haha. It’s lovely here. Don’t leave anything valuable in it. It’s called living in a big city.”

So how do you prevent a smash and grab from happening to you? A few ways:

  1. Never leave anything of value in your car. That’s the first and most important thing.
  2. If you do leave something of value in your car (sometimes you have no choice), make sure it’s hidden, either under the seat or use a black sheet to disguise it as the floor (here’s more on that tip)
  3. Don’t ever go into your trunk to grab something out when you arrive at your destination because people might be watching you.
  4. I know some people leave their windows down and glove box open just to show there’s nothing of value in there but that’s a little sketchy to me.
  5. Never leave anything of value in your car. Period. That’s the best advice.

Again, these smash and grabs happen in cities, parks, tourist destinations but as you can see in the video above, they can also happen in the middle of your street, in front of your house. People sometimes run into a store or go to take a photo for five minutes and they come back and boom. Everything is gone, like what happened to these photographers who stopped at Battery Spencer Park in SF for five minutes to snap some pictures and returned to their car in ruins and their belongings gone.

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