Important tip: How to prevent being a victim of theft

Every car I've had has been vandalized. It wasn't until recently that the reason for the break-ins -- and the same one applies on all three occasions -- hit me. I parked the cars in isolated spots.

Up until this last incident, I honestly thought parking away from people made it less likely that my car would become a target for thieves. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that the opposite is true. When fewer people are around, it makes it even harder for robbers to be noticed and thus caught. The opportunistic thieves capitalized on my lapse in judgment and stole valuables ranging from tires and rims to CDs and a radio.

In the most recent case, I parked in an isolate area of a parking garage because only recently had I purchased my car and I wished to do whatever possible to prevent it from being hit or scratched. I realize now that I was being awfully anal, and it came back to bite me. The fact of the matter is that your car can be hit anytime, anywhere -- whether it's parked or moving, close to cars or far from them.

The same considerations are applicable when it comes to buying or renting a home. Never settle on a place that is in too isolated or dark an area. You're better off living in a well-lit neighborhood where people and cars are easy to spot. This deters would-be thieves from breaking into your home. Of course, you'll want to take other precautions to minimize the likelihood of theft, like having a fence and home security system.

What did I ultimately learn from this experience? That sometimes even our logic can be illogical. Stay safe out there, guys!

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