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How to warn of petty crime?

Hi All,

I host in a middle class neighborhood and lately there has been a rise in petty thefts, teenagers that are opportunists, stealing unlocked property or taking things out of unlocked cars, sometimes breaking into cars with valuable items in site. The multi-million dollar homes a mile away have the same issue as criminals come from other parts of town.

To me, it is common sense to always lock your vehicle. I would hate for a guest to forget and have valuable things taken but the only time I’ve reminded a guest they left me a pretty bad review about the neighborhood being unsafe just from my warning (they did not see anything that made them feel unsafe).

How do you approach this? Do you remind guests to lock up? With our criminals being teenagers they are usually released the next day and back on the streets the next night so it is an ongoing problem but there are so many unlocked/unsecured items in the neighborhood that anyone who puts in a little effort is fine.

As I noticed that a few guests won’t lock the apartment door when they are away for the whole day, during the tour when I show them their keys, I tell them to “Please lock the door when you’re away, the neighborhood is very safe as I never heard of any theft, and I have been living here for 10 years, but you never know and an unlocked door is obviously very easy to open”.

It worked so far.

Re. vehicles, I think most vehicles these days have that feature which locks the vehicle when the keys are more than a few feet away ? So maybe only warn guests with older cars ?

Tell your guests that in the city (I’m assuming you’re in a city), there are some basic safety precautions that always need to be taken. Never leave anything in sight in a car, always lock all doors, windows, etc. I tell my guests to not walk in the evening with their cellphones out and I tell them that I have personally stopped walking around at night with a purse.

We actually had a shooting last week on the corner and the single family home at the end of the block just sold for over 3 million.

Regarding cars, people have been getting into locked cars very easily in our neighborhood so it’s more important to not give people any reason to think there might be something valuable inside.

Sadly no. Having just had my car broken into for the 2nd time, the police & I tested. My car only locks automatically if you press the ‘unlock’ but then don’t open any doors to get in. It assumes you made a mistake & re locks car. If I get out at end of day & forget to lock, it doesn’t lock it. In Australia where I live it’s actually a crime to leave valuables in your car in sight (lol) so I sometimes let guests know this and to lock my house well ‘as I Won’t be covered on insurance so ABB will come after you’ and this seems to work as they are more motivated by self interest than protecting my stuff.

I too have had bad experience of trying
to warn people of common sense safety as car & Home thefts are common in wealthy areas (for obvious reasons) and warned some guests who then called ABB insisting on having my personal car spot (not offered on listing, guests have street parking only) as they felt ‘so unsafe in the city’. Lol ABB let them cancel booking because they insisted but made them pay the whole 6 weeks (1st month and 50% of second). Oh they also called my son, then 17, a ‘pervert’ because he tried to enter the shared bathroom while one of them was on toilet, despite them not locking let alone shutting the door. He had no idea anyone was in there. After they found out they were being charged the 6 weeks, they tried to say they felt safe again but as my son had then been crying for an hour due to their ridiculousness, I refused and made them leave that night & ABB backed me whole way. But I digress…my point is don’t warn about anything that’s common sense as people will often use any excuse to complain & stand your ground, ABB support can be quite good.

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I’m actually genuinely concerned that my guests not become crime victims and so I will always warn them to take precautions. Tourists (and their car rentals) are targets since they often carry quite a bit of cash and have expensive cameras so I will advise my guests as best I can. Sorry you had a bad experience but your guests sound kinda crazy and I wouldn’t assume that’s a standard response to being told basic safety precautions. For people who are traveling from the suburbs, rural areas, etc. they routinely leave cell phones and other valuables in plain sight and some aren’t accustomed to even locking their doors. They ought to be reminded since so much of that is reflex behavior.

I know a lot of people that leave their cars unlocked.
They rather have people get in with no damage, then broken locks or smashed windows.

It’s also important to leave the glove compartment open, to show there is nothing in there.

This is what people in my neighborhood are doing – leaving glove compartments open. Our thieves thoughtfully don’t break windows as they seem adept at getting into almost any model of car, even when locked.

I remember in the late 70s when people would leave a note in their car that said, “no radio” or the late 80s when people would pull the stereo out and try to hide it under the seat… : )

Any car with a remote lock can opened electronically within a few seconds, you can buy the equipment to do this on the internet.

They can even steal your car, if your car does not require a key to be in a lock to started.

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