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Alex Rodriguez was serving as a commentator at the last Giants-Phillies game in San Francisco when someone broke into his rental car. According to security footage, the burglary took place around 10 pm on Sunday, August 11, 2019. The thief was able to make off with Rodriguez’s laptop, a camera, assorted jewelry, and other miscellaneous electronics.

The former professional baseball player claims that the total value of these items was over $500,000, but this has yet to be confirmed. Even if you don’t carry around fancy GPS units or other electronics in your vehicle, a thief may choose to steal an item that has a great emotional value to you. If you frequently drive around with important cargo and don’t want to end up like Alex Rodriguez, here are some things you can do to protect your vehicle.

Keep your doors locked

When you’re busy, it can be easy to forget that you left your car window cracked or the door unlocked. Having easy access to the inside of your car encourages thieves to investigate your vehicle. Always make sure that your doors are locked, your windows are rolled up, and your back hatch is secured.

Keep interesting items out of sight

Before you exit your vehicle, make sure that all items of value are properly concealed. Any electronic items and jewelry should be stored in the center console, under the seats, or in the glovebox. If a certain item is very valuable, it may be a smart idea to just carry it with you.  You can easily forget to conceal portable phone chargers and GPS mounts, which can tip off a car thief. 

Keeping your car clean in general will make it less desirable to burglars. Even loose change or an extra hoodie in the backseat can attract unwanted attention.

Park in a highly visible area

Burglars will often target cars in isolated spots with poor lighting so that they can do their crime in secret. Always try to park on busy streets, areas free of foliage, or in an area with a lot of surrounding cars. If you have to park somewhere at night, make sure the area is also well-lit. Also, be mindful of bystanders who may have bad intentions. If you feel that someone is watching you too closely, find somewhere else to park.

If you have to park in the city where criminal activity may be higher, your safest bet is to use a monitored parking lot or parking garage. These buildings often have security cameras and guards who can catch thieves in the act.

Tint your windows

In addition to regulating the temperature in your car, window tints can also reduce car robberies. If the thief can’t easily see what’s inside your car, they will be less motivated to steal anything. You can have window tint applied to your windows at any auto shop, or you can also use window shades to block out any view from the outside.

Use a security system

Most cars come with alarm systems that will go off in the event of a break-in. The risk of having attention being drawn towards them will give thieves second thoughts about stealing from your car. If your car doesn’t have one, you can buy one for as low as $50. If the system comes with a sticker or decal as proof, make sure you put in a place that can be easily seen. Even a fake sticker will do the trick. You can also buy fake LED flashers for the inside of your car that can trick burglars into thinking that you have a security system.

Of course, these are all just precautions and nothing is foolproof. Car break-ins can happen to anyone, just ask Alex Rodriguez.