The 6 Beaches Your Car and Boards are Likely to Get Stolen at While Surfing
How likely are you to get your car stolen while Surfing? If the 721, 885 cars that were stolen in the U.S. last year is any indication, I’d say there is a pretty good chance of it. Here are the sketchiest places to park your car when paddling out and ideas on how to make sure your car stays safe while you’re catching waves. In the past year break-ins and auto theft has been on the rise, presumably as a result of tough times related to COVID with newspapers from San Diego to San Fransisco reporting on the surge in crime.
- The 6 worst places to hide your car keys while surfing
- The 6 most likely locations to have your car broken into while surfing
- 3 Easy steps to protect yourself against break-ins
- How to safely surf with your electronic key fob
Just this month the San Fransisco Police Department (SFPD) “crime dashboard shows that motor vehicle theft was up 49.5% from April 1 to Nov. 15 in the Taraval and Richmond police districts (where the surfing beaches are) when compared with the same period in 2019.” Beachgoers have seen a 10% higher increase in auto theft during the Pandemic as compared to the rest of the city according to the SFgate.
Similarly during the Pandemic, Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades, Michael Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) states, “surfers are the most targeted victims in vehicle crimes along PCH.” According to The Santa Monica Mirror Moore goes onto say, “A lot of times they’re leaving keys where they consider them to be hidden, but they don’t take into account that people are watching them. The most common place used to be sticking a key on your wheel, however, I’ve seen it where surfers have hidden their keys amongst the rocks and their car still gets broken into with the key being used. In fact, they find that their key is missing, and it’s because the people that are taking their stuff are sitting there watching.”
The worst places to hide your car keys while surfing:
- On your tire
- In your wheel well
- In your gas tank door
- Underneath your car bumpers
- On the beach buried in the sand
- On the beach wrapped in your belongings
Apparently there is a crazy loophole that has been allowing these criminals to go relatively unpunished for sometime now. According to the LA Times, “This led state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to propose closing a loophole in state law that allows some break-ins to go unpunished, but the California Legislature shelved the bill for a second year in a row.
The proposed change in the law would mean prosecutors would no longer have to prove that a car was locked at the time of a break-in, a stipulation unique to auto and cargo container burglaries. There is no such requirement in cases involving other types of burglaries. For example, prosecutors don’t have to prove that a house or a business was locked before a break-in.”
“It’s ridiculous that under current law you can have a video of someone bashing out a car window, but if you can’t prove that the door is locked you may not be able to get an auto burglary conviction,” Wiener told the Times.
The 6 most likely locations to have your car broken into while surfing:
- Ocean Beach - San Fransisco, CA
- China Beach - San Fransisco, CA
- County Line - Venture, CA
- Sunset Beach to Topanga on PCH - Pacific Palisades, CA
- Grandview parking lot - Encinitas, CA
- La Jolla Shores - San Diego, CA They watch from above Scripps Pier
3 Easy steps to protect yourself against break-ins, starts by not becoming a target in the first place:
- Don’t leave out any visible items of value
- Don’t hide your key on or near your car (thieves are watching)
- Don’t use a lock box (they are extremely easy to break into) - See our blog on the vulnerability of car key lock boxes
How to safely surf with your electronic key fob:
Today, most new cars come with electronic keys, otherwise known as key fobs. this presents a unique problem for surfers. Because key fobs operate on proximity, not allowing you to lock your car if the key is inside the car many people use the lock box, leaving them more vulnerable to break-ins despite their feeling of security. Additionally, as a result of being electronic, the key can’t travel with the you into the water leaving you with limited choices.
Thankfully, these security minded surfers developed a Key Fob Stash Bag to address this very problem. Their key fob bag is designed, first and foremost, to keep your car from being stolen. The benefits to their faraday key bag are:
- Their Faraday technology stops the key fob from communicating with the car, allowing it to be locked with the metal "valet key" which is then inserted into your wetsuit, ridding you of the risk of using a lockbox.
- Blocks the wireless signal (bluetooth, RFID, cellular and wifi) from your key fob stopping, sophisticated car thieves from hacking your car’s keyless entry and driving off with your car and all its contents.
Sometimes, all the precautionary protections still can’t stop the thieves. In that case you will want to make sure you have an insurance policy that protects you against car theft. You may also need to carry extra homeowners or renters insurance to cover the stolen surfboards and other items that are in your vehicle.
While getting your car broken into isn’t inevitable, it can happen. Something that’s more likely to occur is dinging or breaking your board. If you’d like to extend the life of your surfboard and protect it against damage take a look at our Surfcare Protection Plans, ensuring that you’ll be able to stay in the water as long as possible.