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The wise words of advice from local police is to Lock, Take, and Hide valuables in your car. Obviously it is best not to leave anything of value in your car to get stolen, no matter how secure you think your car is. If you can't live without it or afford to replace it, you better take it with you. Sometimes though, you are on your way to or from a location shoot and you have all of your gear and equipment with you and you need to make a stop somewhere. What do you do, take your stuff with you or leave it all in the car?
Photo by .dr4gon.
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Take It With You!
The obvious answer to the above question is to take as much of it with you, at least the more expensive items. It is good idea if you have your gear in a few bags which you can easily bring with you. Other bulkier and larger items like tripods, lighting equipment, and other supports, can be left hidden in the car (see below). The good thing about these items is that they are not as attractive to a thief as a thousand dollar camera may be.
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Locked in the Trunk
So if you have to leave something behind, make sure it is well hidden and locked if possible. The best place to securely store something would be the trunk of a sedan or covered in the trunk of a hatchback or SUV. A trunk is roomy to keep everything and your largest items are probably already in the trunk anyway. If you have a car, a trunk works well since it requires a key and is out of sight. If you do place things in your trunk, please make sure you do it before arriving at your destination. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people put purses or other valuables in their trunk before walking into a store. That is just advertising to thieves that I have something of value in my trunk and I will be gone for some time, so feel free to take it! Not smart.
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Locked in the Glove Box Compartment
For smaller items or extra security, you can use your lockable glove box to store things like smaller video cameras or whatever else of value you have on you. These are discrete and lockable, but also small. Again, place your valuables in here before arriving to your destination to not attract attention.
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Under the Seats
The worst but possible alternative is to place items under the seat. At least they will be out of sight from burglars, but they can still be easily taken if you leave the door unlocked or they are bold enough to break a window.
Whichever of the above hiding spots you use, remember to be smart and discrete about it. Also avoid parking in dark, remote areas if you can help it and return as soon as possible to your car so it is not sitting out in the open for too long. In addition, check out our guide to theft proofing your car.