Yesterday, while surfing Swamis, my friend’s car was broken into in broad daylight. They stole pretty much everything, including her purse, her yoga mat, and even her clothes and towel! I totally forgot that these things happen around here, and this incident definitely reminded me to be on guard! Her car was locked and she took her key with her surfing, so it was totally not her fault, but this does serve as a bit of a wake-up call to take extra precautions for safety and security.

I know a lot of people will hide their keys while they surf, but most thieves know to check above the tires for “hidden” keys. Often times, they stake out the beach parking lots and watch people as they get ready to surf, so they see where the secret hiding spots are for the keys... creepy stuff. Luckily, there are easy ways to at least attempt to deter burglars that only require a couple of extra steps before and after surfing. Taking your key surfing is one super simple way to help prevent break-ins, but most newer car keys have electronic components, eliminating this option. As an alternative, there are little safes that attach to your car, making a perfectly secure spot for your key. The most common type is sort of padlock shaped, which locks around your car door, and you can just pop it in your glovebox when you aren’t using it!

It is almost a no-brainer to say this, but always be alert and try to be aware of who may be watching you, and don’t leave your expensive items out in plain view. If you’re walking on coast highway and see anything suspicious, it can’t hurt to check out the scene for a second. In my friend's situation, there would have been tons of people walking by on coast highway while this crime occurred! Perhaps the thief was just super smooth and made it look like carrying a bunch of stuff away from a car was totally normal, but it is hard to imagine, considering the sheer volume of items that were stolen. There is no way to totally guarantee protection from theft, but if we all make a little bit more effort to secure our vehicles, and make sure our eyes are peeled for questionable activity, we can help keep our community safe!