REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Car break-ins can happen in an instant and all across the Bay Area. In Milpitas, there were 154 break-ins in just the first two months of the year. Because of this epidemic, ABC7 News is looking at ways to Build a Better Bay Area and keep you safe.
Officer Art Montiel of the California Highway Patrol offered these tips and a window-breaking demonstration at Able Towing in Redwood City to show just how easy it is to become a victim and how to protect your belongings.
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Officer Montiel shows us how a $6 glass-breaking tool can be used to punch through a window in seconds, leaving your vehicle vulnerable.
Besides the obvious advice to leave nothing of value in your vehicle, Officer Montiel gives a reason why even your trunk isn't a safe space.
"Once they break the window they have access to the trunk. You can always lock your glove compartment."
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Oakland Police say criminals will sometimes use an electronic device to determine if there's a Bluetooth electronic in your car and target it.
Sergeant Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department says he oftentimes sees vehicles with nothing inside except a sign indicating the car is unlocked and there is nothing to steal. Not all law enforcement recommends this, but Officer Montiel says it works for some drivers.
"Some people leave their window unlocked because they've been broken into before...if you don't have a car that's easily started with a key then you can do that."
See more stories and videos from the Safety series of Building a Better Bay Area.
Building a Better Bay Area: Tips for avoiding a car break-in
BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA