6 items commonly to be stolen from your car

Updated Aug 16, 2022 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Car thieves are quite common here in the Philippines. These are the items being the delicious cakes for car theft.

Car thieves are the bane of every motorist; a few unguarded moments are all it takes for them to cart away everything that you’ve worked hard for, be it your car or the valuables inside it.

As car owners, we’re always advised to be responsible for securing our cars against unwarranted intrusions no matter where we park, be it in the office, at the mall, or even right outside our own homes.

Many cars today are equipped with security features such as electronic locks and immobilizers, assuming that it’s the actual car that thieves are after. What if it’s the items inside that are the target? Find out the answer in this article from Philkotse.com.

car theft

Invest in automotive security systems and be vigilant

I. Top items commonly to be stolen from your parked cars

1. Electronic items

Personal electronics such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets have become a necessity for people these days, especially for communicating with family members, receiving emails and conducting business transactions. But investing in electronics can be costly, a fact that isn’t lost on potential thieves looking to make a quick buck.

Smartphones may practically serve as extensions of one’s own limb, for better or for worse, but for security’s sake, it’s still worth saying that they shouldn’t be left inside the car.

Bulkier electronic items are best left at home, or if you need to bring them for official business, then keep them concealed from sight if you’re going to leave them in the car, especially if you only have very light window tint.  

electronic devices inside car

Expensive electronic devices are easy picking for thieves

2. Wallet or purse

Wallets or purses left inside the car always mean money, which is an irresistible draw to any thief. More than cash though, these items also contain credit or debit cards, as well as valuable identification such as company and government IDs.

Never leave wallets and purses in plain sight even when your car doors are locked, as their presence only provides a greater incentive for car thieves to break into your vehicle. The cash might be easy to replace, but the IDs are a different story, especially considering the hassle of getting an affidavit and paying for the cost of re-issuing a lost ID.   

steal purse inside car

Personal identification and documents stolen can be used for another crime like fraud or identity theft

>>> Must read: How to prevent car theft in the Philippines?

3. Documents in the glove compartment

Aside from the door pockets, the glove compartment is a favorite place for storing items inside the vehicle; this includes important documentation such as user manuals and vehicle registration papers. Even though the glove compartment might seem a secure place to store documents, don’t think that thieves overlook it when rummaging through your car for items of value.

Vehicle registration documents need to especially be safe, for your own security and privacy; it’s better to just bring photocopies of your OR/CR inside the glove box (for when you misplace that parking ticket, by way of example) and keep the original at home.

glove compartment theft

Don't leave your valuable and personal stuff inside the cars

4. Clothes

Thieves take a personal interest in articles of clothing left behind inside cars, thinking that they might contain cash, jewelry or other valuables stashed in the pockets. Others might expect to get keys or other means of identification that may give them additional opportunities to commit more crimes, such as breaking into your house.

>>> Also check out: Anti-theft features in car that Filipino drivers should know about

5. Bags

Handbags, backpacks, suitcases, luggage – all are enticing targets to thieves, who readily (and correctly) assume that they contain items of value. Shopping bags loaded with purchases are also tempting, especially those loaded with food and signature items.

shopping bags inside car

Exposed shopping bags catch the eye of thieves

6. Car parts

Sometimes it’s not so much about what’s left inside the car as what is attached to the car. Stereo head units, for example, used to be among the most enticing targets for car thieves, who usually remove them from the dashboard and sell them on the black market.

In recent years, bulky stereo units have been largely replaced by integrated head units that are designed to fit only a specific vehicle or touchscreen displays. The extra functionality of the latter (multimedia, navigation, communications) only makes them more attractive targets for theft.

Other components commonly stolen include lug nuts and tire valve covers (especially the flashy aftermarket ones), side mirrors, external lights, and spare tires.  

side mirrors stolen

Attached to the car seems not to be enough, though!!!

II. Basic tips avoid being a victim of car theft

So how do you minimize the risk of falling victim to theft, every time you leave your car? There are basic tips you can follow:

  • Remember to close all windows and lock all doors.
  • Make sure that your car alarm system is working.
  • Install a dash cam that can record video even when the engine is off.
  • Choose the right parking spot for your car, taking care to avoid dark places or areas with minimal foot traffic.
  • Take all of your valuable items with you, especially your bags and wallets. If you have bulky gadgets with you, keep them out of sight by storing them in the trunk or covering them.
Liza Campos

Liza Campos


Majoring in Physical Therapy during College, Liza started her career as a Sales Assistant and then joined Philkotse since 2018 as a freelance writer. She loves to challenge herself in different fields, just as much as how she loves travelling.

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