Its that time of year - car break ins

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Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 3, 2003
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Gorham NH
Given the rotten weather I haven't heard of any recent car break ins but there is usually an uptick in car break ins coinciding with the end of the school year and return of warm weather. These are usually crimes of opportunity, people with nothing better to do go driving around late evening and will pick a few lots to pick on. Sometimes its smash and grab and other times its just check the door locks. Unfortunately I expect the check the door locks will escalate if they get rewarded to smash and grab. The AMC lots all have many overnight cars due to hut guests and in general there is overall a much higher use which also contributes to it.

Not much you can do except carry your valuables or lock them out of sight. Some folks believe in leaving the car open with no valuables in sight and the obvious spots like the glovebox left open. This may make sense for parking multiple days but I expect locking the doors with all valuables out of sight is better option for dayhikers, as the vast majority of break ins happen in the evening or overnight.

Sometimes more persistent folks will start working the area, once they get established they usually get busted but it can take multiple break ins over a period of weeks before it happens. With the uptick in substance abuse I wouldn't be surprised if another individual or individuals will start working the lots again like they have in the past.
And unfortunately even if you do everything you can, they could still be after your catalytic converter for the metals. As happened to my father's Toyota at Jay Pass, VT a few years back. I understand it was a loud ride home!
One indicator of parking lot safety, or maybe just past history is to look for the shiny bits of glass in areas of the lot. Safety glass for car windows makes quite the mess when it shatters. When I see this I know that the lot has a history of break-ins and I try to park in the most exposed section of the lot. As an example, the parking lot for the Mt Major-Belknap range off Rte 11 in Alton has glass in the upper section of the lot, but none down near the highway where passing cars have a good view of the lot. So what that you have an extra 200 feet or so of walking to get to the trail head. The entire lot is paved.