According to local press, police are advising Bromley motorists to take extra care this Christmas to avoid being victims of car crime.
It follows nearly 300 reported thefts from cars over the same period last year, an increase of 60% from the year before.
The general rule of thumb is to never leave valuable items in your car, and certainly don't leave your Christmas shopping on display. My partner seems to have a blindspot for leaving bags in the back seat, but then maybe I'm more vigilant because I'm a more suspicious person! We've had cars broken into more than once (in fact when there was nothing left on show) and although nothing was taken, it's still costly and annoying having to arrange repairs, insurance, courtesy cars etc. Whatever the insurance companies advertise about how easy it is to make a claim, there's always a degree of inconvenience and cost especially if you have an excess to consider.
So remember - keep all your valuables with you, leave nothing on display. Don't even leave suction marks on the windscreen as it's a dead giveaway you might have a sat nav unit hidden somewhere, and likewise for mobile phone cradles.
A cousin of mine, many years ago, returned from a shopping trip the day before Christmas eve, parked on her drive, popped into the house to take the first bags in, came out not 3 minutes later and found some chancer had made off with all the rest of her Christmas shopping from her car - all her children's presents, for her husband, her family... How to spoil Christmas...
Lucky they didn't get the car as well I suppose, but maybe the thieves were feeling generous.
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Kim Frances is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.