Vandalism is the willful destruction or damaging of public or private property in a way that defaces, mars, or otherwise diminishes the property's value. Vandalism, though involving damage to property, is not always the same as "destruction of property" or "damage to property." However, some states use these groups to cover acts of vandalism, which would result in a more serious charge.
The vandal's responsible for not following through with their devious plans. Still, because most acts of vandalism are private property crimes, it is up to the owner of the property to take precautions.
In this article, we'll cover some steps you can take. We'll also cover gadgets that utilize night vision to help you prevent vehicle vandalism, such as breaking windows to gain access to the interior, harming tires, keying the car, and other such crimes. Catching these criminals on camera is very helpful when contacting the local authorities and filing a police report.
HOW TO CATCH SOMEONE BREAKING INTO YOUR CAR AT NIGHT
Car cameras are a popular option that varies from dash cams to hidden cameras inside the car. A parked car, especially in an apartment complex, is in low light conditions and makes a very tempting target to any vandal. It is important to take steps to protect against car vandalism.
The 1080P Duel Camera Dash Cam has GPS and WIFI to allow live streaming directly to your phone. There are two cameras, one front-facing and one rear-facing. They are both a low-profile wedge-shaped design with an adjustable lens. They're hassle-free and easy to install.
Unlike other camera models, this dash cam set is fitted with a supercapacitor instead of a battery, so you don't have to worry so much about extreme temperatures.
Having a portable charger on hand for your cameras is a good idea to ensure that you have video footage while the car is parked. Not all battery-powered security cameras are meant for all-nighters, so either make sure the camera you're choosing is up to the task or choose a portable charger to have at the ready for extra security.
A hidden camera around your home or yard is a fantastic way to monitor your vehicle. A cellular security camera is a good option because it doesn't require internet. It doesn't matter whether it's raining, a tower is down, or any other inconvenience. Your camera will monitor all your cars and yard.
FEATURES TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING A CAMERA
Since the point is catching any crime that may, unfortunately, take place, any camera you purchase will need to have good video quality. Anything less than 1080P likely won't capture the detail you need for evidence.
As long as the memory card can support an entire 24 hours of footage, the rest is really up to you. How often do you want to go to clear the storage? Depending on how busy your life is or your temperament, you may want to seek a camera with more storage.
While audio is not required for these kinds of cameras or how you're using them, it can be useful to have audio on any recordings you're using to report theft. It can be easier to identify a person if you have their voice and everything else they where doing on camera.
Night vision is crucial for every setting so that you can get good detail even in poorly lit situations. Even if your car is parked beneath a lamp, there often needs to be more light for the footage you need. Having a night vision feature on your camera will provide great peace of mind. If you're out late at night and don't have the opportunity to park in a well-lit area, you don't have to stress about it.
Motion detection is very important for conserving energy and being gentler on the camera so that it lasts longer. It means the camera will start recording whenever someone gets in a view close to your car. It may catch some inconsequential scenes, but it's worth it for the one time you capture a bad guy on camera.
The Zetta Max IR Surveillance Camera 160° Field of View has a motion activated setting to preserve battery.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM VANDALISM
KEEP IT CLEAN
Criminals don't often pick a car at random to vandalize. They take in every detail. The more stuff inside your vehicle, the higher the chances that there's something someone else wants. Keep your car clean to attract less attention. On top of that, keep any essential items with you when you leave the vehicle or make sure they're out of sight.
This sometimes goes without saying, but we will say it anyway. Even in a safe neighborhood, keeping all the doors locked when you're away from your car is important. Sometimes, all it takes is a locked car door to deter a vandal.
USE SECURITY CAMERAS
Lastly, security cameras, hidden or otherwise, are a fantastic precaution. A camera that isn't hidden can sometimes turn thieves and vandals away just by its presence, but a hidden camera is more likely to catch someone in the act. It's a tricky balance; you might have to experiment to determine what works best for you.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE VANDALIZES YOUR CAR
The first thing to do before you file a claim and before contacting the police is you need to evaluate and document the damage.
Don't clean anything up right away or disrupt the scene in any way. Take photos of any damage done to your property. Documentation of this kind might be required for a police report, and it will also help you defend your claim to the insurance company if they have any questions.
COMPILE A LIST OF STOLEN ITEMS
If you find your window smashed out, you're probably also missing personal items. Make a list of everything missing, and don't forget to go through the documents you might store in the glovebox.
If you find that some sensitive documents have been taken, especially ones detailing bank accounts or credit cards, consider setting up a fraud alert with your bank and freezing any compromised credit cards.
FILE THE POLICE REPORT
Even if the damage was minimal and you don't have any footage of the crime, it's still important to report it since vandalism crimes often happen in groups. The police may need your report to investigate a whole string of crimes.
On top of that, many insurance companies require a police report to process your claim. Call the police and see if they'll come to you and assess the damage. If they will not, you will need to go to your local station or call over the phone.
Things you'll need to file a report include:
- Pictures of any damage
- Driver's license
- Vehicle registration information
- Insurance card
- As close as you can get to the time and date of the crime
- A detailed list of anything that was stolen