Rental Car Break-ins

Old Oct 14th, 2019, 09:44 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rental Car Break-ins

I knew someone who visited Spain, rented a car at the airport, and parked it outside the hotel for 10 minutes while he checked in. During that few minutes, his rental car windows were smashed and all his luggage in the car (wife’s was in the trunk) was stolen. He was left with only the clothes on this back.
Friends are traveling to the Algarve region of Portugal. Will they have a similar problem?
gbelle1 is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2019, 09:53 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This can happen anywhere, everywhere: Spain, Japan, Canada, small town USA... In fact it did happen to me in small town USA in my personal vehicle.

The key is to keep NOTHING visable. But even then, break-ins can occur. So, either take the luggage with you (especially at check in!) or take safeguards to have nothing visable. If there is a way to back into a parking spot so that the trunk is against the wall, but that doesn't prevent a thief from breaking in and going into the trunk from the backseat.

So, bottom line, at the very least, is to keep money, passports, devices on your person at all times.
Travel_Nerd is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2019, 10:49 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>> Will they have a similar problem?
This should be question of risk probability. The question as framed is whether it always happens or never happens. I think the more rational way to look at this is to weigh the benefits of driving a car in certain way considering all kinds of probability weighed foulups and the consequential damages (time lost addressing the damages) vs. other way of traveling with the car. So many people I have talked to in the U.S. think they are so smart, INHTM = it never happens to me and only consider the best case all benefit scenarios.
Irrespective of whether the luggage is visible (increases probability) or not (decreases probability), if someone sees you parking a car in front of the hotel and get into the hotel without emptying the car, it is very likely that there are treasures still inside somewhere in the car, meaning it worths breaking into the car for the would be thieves.
I don't know how experienced are your frineds going to Algarve in traveling to places with higher theft risks than where they are used to. The rental car may not be the only risk item. Where they carry cash, cc, passport, how they safeguard purses/wallets at popular attractions, at restaurants, in crowded local transit, etc. all contribute to theft risks.
greg is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2019, 11:37 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,117
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can't (should not) leave luggage visible in a car anywhere.

Happened recently in the parking garage I use daily here in Seattle. Someone visiting my office left a laptop case and suitcase on the back seat. Yup, smash and grab. Same thing happens with iPhones ("but I just left it on the seat when I ran into the convenience store").

You just can't do it. Doesn't have anything to do with a specific region of Portugal.

And yes thieves targeting a hotel at check-in isn't a surprise.
suze is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2019, 11:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our leased car was broken into in France. Nothing visible in cab; it was all in the trunk, which is what they jimmied open. Stupid red license plates readily identify the car as tourist car.
martharap is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2019, 01:03 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,296
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am surprised both members of the couple would leave their car with luggage inside to check in. One member of the couple should stay with the car while the other checks in or they should empty the car of all their luggage prior to checking in. This is common sense in any part of the world, particularly in the city where I live in the U.S. where car break-ins are all too common. I doubt Spain or Portugal are any different.
KTtravel is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2019, 02:32 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 20,668
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nothing I hate more than the "it happens everywhere" type of response. It happens a LOT in Spain, especially along the coast. Happened to my brother and his wife in Valencia, within the few minutes that they both went to the check-in.

In Seville, we were warned not to leave even a map visible inside the car. I'm surprised that they didn't pop the trunk also..maybe they ran out of time.

I agree that one person should stay with the car if all of the luggage can't be taken to the hotel.

But, I have no idea if this happens as often in rural Portugal as it might in a big city in Spain.

I live in a supposedly unsafe part of Los Angeles, and my car has never suffered a smash and grab during broad daylight, although we do have people who go around at night (especially when it's raining) and rummage through our cars, even if they are locked there are some devices that can hack into a vehicle's access codes, then unlock them without a key.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 14th, 2019 at 02:37 PM.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2019, 04:46 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We drove a car through Spain for three weeks in 2015 and didn't have any problems. We followed the advice given here: nothing visible in the car and one person stays with it during check-in. We also used supervised parking lots and usually took public transport in the city.

Sometimes while driving between cities we would leave the car with all our stuff in it, except money and passports. This was during the day and we locked everything up with nothing left visible.

I had heard stories about problems in Barcelona and worried, so we were on best behavior there. We looked for suspicious people even while driving, checked for slashed tires, and generally notched up our awareness. No problems.
MichGuy is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2019, 08:57 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,195
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nothing I hate more than the "it happens everywhere" type of response.>>

I agree, you see that a lot on here about various cities and in other travel forums also, along with the "it can happen anywhere". Which is just silly, of course it CAN, why couldn't it. But the point of questions like that is always what are the risks in this area, are they higher than normal or much higher than normal, etc. And usually there is a reason they are asking, they've heard it is higher and often it is. Let's face it, the idea that pickpocketing on the metro "can" happen in any city is worthless. Because the risk is much much higher in Paris of that happening (particular on certain lines) than in Washington DC, for example. I don't know why, but it is true that pickpocketing seems much more common in Europe than the US, even in big US cities.

People often don't tell the truth to people on travel forums, either, I know people ask about crime in certain areas of some cities, and there will always be the response about how "it can happen anywhere". And there is much higher crime in certain areas of some cities than others, that's just a fact. SO it isn't that helpful to pretend it doesn't.
Christina is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2019, 10:23 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,117
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think that "it happens everywhere" is valid. Especially when people post something that shows they did not think about it or assumed it would not happen to them and acted in an unsafe manner. This advice does not only apply to "Spain".
suze is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2019, 10:27 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Christina View Post
Nothing I hate more than the "it happens everywhere" type of response.>>

I agree, you see that a lot on here about various cities and in other travel forums also, along with the "it can happen anywhere". Which is just silly, of course it CAN, why couldn't it. But the point of questions like that is always what are the risks in this area, are they higher than normal or much higher than normal, etc. And usually there is a reason they are asking, they've heard it is higher and often it is. Let's face it, the idea that pickpocketing on the metro "can" happen in any city is worthless. Because the risk is much much higher in Paris of that happening (particular on certain lines) than in Washington DC, for example. I don't know why, but it is true that pickpocketing seems much more common in Europe than the US, even in big US cities.

People often don't tell the truth to people on travel forums, either, I know people ask about crime in certain areas of some cities, and there will always be the response about how "it can happen anywhere". And there is much higher crime in certain areas of some cities than others, that's just a fact. SO it isn't that helpful to pretend it doesn't.
I don't disagree. Afterall, I said the "it can happen anywhere." But the OP asked, "This happened in Spain. Can it happen in Portugal?" Yes, it "can." We don't have a crystal ball and it's impossible to answer without more information or data. If the OP is looking for absolutes, he/she needs to check the crime rate herself, if that's possible or at least the rental company. Asking an apples and oranges question, gets you a response with lemons and pears.

Btw, in MY situation: low crime rate, affluent area and not in a rental. And I'm not lying just because I'm on a travel forum. And it happened in just a couple of minutes.
Travel_Nerd is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2019, 12:31 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,307
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know why, but it is true that pickpocketing seems much more common in Europe than the US, even in big US cities.
Because pickpocketing requires a lot of skill and training; in the US, it's easier just to stick a gun in somebody's face.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2019, 05:07 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My pocket was picked at a crowded bus stop in Nice a few years ago. I know all the precautions and followed most of them (wallet was in my front pocket but I don't use a money belt). The thief was very good and I didn't even notice the wallet was gone until I sat down on the bus.

The point is that there are thieves in such places who specifically prey on tourists because they have money on them, can be distracted, and are often old. So while the point that it can happen anywhere is true, it's also irrelevant to the question.
MichGuy is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:15 PM.