Storing anything of real value in your car isn’t a safe option, but sometimes you simply can’t avoid it. Maybe you’re out shopping and you can’t carry everything with you. Maybe you need to hide a present in the car to keep it away from prying eyes. Maybe, like most folks parking at the Port of Miami, you’re about to head out on vacation and you just don’t want to take some things with you. These things could be a GPS that helped get you to the port, a cell phone that won’t work on the sea, or something you’re just afraid you’ll lose on deck. While we advise against leaving things in your car, if you have to leave something, you should know how to hide it to keep it safe.

Planning Is Key

Let’s say you have something you need to leave behind. If that’s the case, you want to hide as much as possible before you arrive at wherever you’re parking while on vacation. If you wait until you get to the parking lot to hide things, even if they have good security, you’re putting your things at risk. If you hide your valuables with your car parked, people might see you _ and that means those people will know that you’re leaving something in your car. They will also know that, whatever it is, you think it’s valuable enough to hide. This is just encouraging them to try and break in and find out for themselves what you hid and see if it’s worth anything.

Get Creative

If you know you will be parking at the Port of Miami and that you will need to hide some of your valuables, think of creative ways and places to hide them. If you’re hiding small devices like phones or a GPS, you could hide it in between the seat cushions or inside of an old food container. You might have to wash out the container, but a passerby will most likely assume you’re messy and you left trash in your car. No one wants to risk breaking into a car for trash, so it’s a pretty safe hiding place. If you’re hiding bigger items like a bag with a change of clothes or something you decided you didn’t need last minute, the trunk is a great spot. If your car doesn’t have a trunk or the trunk doesn’t offer any coverage, you will need some other options. You can hide things with the spare tire (or in place of it if necessary). You can also hide things under your seats or in the glove box.

The Most Important Thing of All

No matter where or how long you’ll be parking at the Port of Miami, you should always do a final sweep before you leave your car. According to a survey by the state of California, in 2011 alone car thefts resulted in a net loss of about $1 billion. The best way to avoid making your car a target is to make it as uninteresting as possible. After you’ve hidden your valuables, take one final walk around your car. You should look to see if, from any angle, you can see either what you’ve hidden or something that might look like it’s worth something. If you can see a plastic bag sticking out from under your seat, even if it has nothing in it, you should get rid of it. A thief might think it’s a shopping bag or that you hid it for a reason. If you can walk all the way around your car and can’t see anything you’ve hidden, then you’re set. It’s not as safe as leaving your car empty, but it’s the next best thing, and sometimes it’s your only option.