My neighbour Bob had his car broken into this morning. He said he heard noises outside and went out to find a bloke smashing up the steering wheel and console, apparently trying to hotwire it.
When the bloke realised Bob was out there he shouted “I’m coming out mate, I’m coming out!” He did so, pushed past Bob and ran down the street. Sounds like the bloke wanted to avoid a physical confrontation.
Bob says he inadvertently left his car unlocked overnight, and suspects the bloke was just an opportunist. He also thinks he may have been affected in some way by drugs, alcohol, or something else.
I’d have to assume a pro could have hotwired a car in seconds, and not made enough noise to rouse people. Bob’s got an older Commodore — perhaps it doesn’t have an immobiliser, though it’s unclear if the bloke would have known that.
The police CSI team came and took fingerprints, but one would guess they won’t have much luck finding anybody… more likely they might pin that on him if they find him for something else.
I thought nobody would try and break into a car in a driveway, because the assumption would be that somebody’s home. The Lady Cop said you can never assume your car in your driveway is safe. Some people will notice an unlocked car and grab gold coins from the coin tray — you wouldn’t even know anything had happened.
Bob’s okay… he was just a little shaken. But his car will need some repairs.
It reminds me that although Bentleigh is a pretty safe, low-crime suburb, it’s good to take care. I sometimes leave my car open, windows down, doors unlocked if it’s a hot day and I’m expecting to go driving somewhere. The lesson I’ll take from this is to at least ensure the doors are deadlocked (which should also activate the immobiliser, hopefully preventing hotwiring) whenever the car is unattended.