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Blog category: Driving

Tips To Prevent San Francisco Car Break-Ins & Bipping

5 min read

Car thefts and break-ins are skyrocketing across America, and nowhere sees more than The Golden City by the Bay. San Francisco car break-ins have become a county-wide emergency. Bipping happens daily, so the locals call the Bay Area “Bip City.” Whether you live in or around The City, intend to travel there, or simply want to know how to prevent car break-ins in your area, this is the guide for you. Check out our tips to avoid bipping so that (fingers crossed) you won’t fall victim to the San Francisco smash-and-grab.

What is Bipping?

Bipping is the slang term for a specific type of car break-in in San Francisco that shatters vehicle windows with very little noise. Bipping originated as thieves broke off the porcelain pieces of sparkplugs to throw them against the vehicle’s window. Porcelain being far harder than glass, the flung sparkplug pieces would quietly break the window, allowing access to the car’s contents. Today, bipping is more often accomplished using a resqme car escape tool. The practice is rampant in the city and surrounding areas. So many San Francisco car break-ins have led to the nickname “Bip City.” But San Francisco car break-ins are hurting residents and tourists alike. So, let’s see how to prevent car break-ins.

How to Prevent Car Break-Ins?

Bipping has become such a nightmare in the Bay Area that some residents leave their car windows down, hoping thieves will be content to steal their belongings while leaving the vehicle windows undamaged. Our tips to prevent San Francisco car break-ins are certainly more effective than that. But please understand that you could follow all our advice and do everything right yet still get bipped. The primary goal is to make your vehicle less enticing to thieves than other cars.

Lock it Down

Our first tip for preventing car break-ins and reducing the chance of auto theft is to lock your vehicle. Any time you leave your vehicle — even for just a few minutes — always lock the doors and ensure the windows and sunroof are closed tight. Engage the vehicle kill switch — if you don’t have one, get one. Take the keys with you, and never hide a key anywhere outside the car. If you use an automatic garage door opener, never leave it in your parked car.

Take it With You

San Francisco car break-ins are quick and quiet ways to steal your cell phone, personal data, jacket, or anything else you leave behind. Never leave any items inside your car. Don’t try to hide stuff under your seat or in the door pockets; thieves know where to look. Leaving your phone, tablet, or anything else in the car puts a big bipping target on it. If you must leave some possessions in your vehicle, always put them in the trunk. If you’re stashing your electronics in the trunk, first disable Bluetooth. A Bluetooth scanner can lead thieves right to your trunk.

Take your spare change, sunglasses, and even empty bags, which can make a thief think they contain something valuable. You also need to secure your personal papers. Identity theft is real — don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Remove your car registration, title, and proof of insurance from your car. They all have your name, address, and other identifying information.

Always Assume the Thieves are Watching You

Our next tip to avoid San Francisco car break-ins is always to assume thieves are watching you. Even if you don’t see them, they’re there and watching. Often, thieves work with partners, one driving a car, the other working the quiet smash-and-grab. If you must stash your belongings in your trunk, pull over miles before your destination to put them away. Otherwise, they’ll see exactly what you are hiding.

Parking Smart

Always park your vehicle in a well-lit spot as close to foot traffic. Stay away from dangerous parking locations under shady trees and overpasses. The more visible your car is to passersby, the less attractive it is to thieves.

Beware the Airports and Tourist Traps

Airports and the surrounding areas are hot spots for San Francisco smash-and-grab. Parking around cafes and diners on common routes to and from the SFO or the OAK airports is hit multiple times daily. Tourist attractions, too, attract bippers as thieves look for people who are less aware of the dangers. Assume you’re being watched, and never drop your guard. Use official airport parking, stay in well-lit areas, and don’t leave your vehicle unlocked even for the moments needed to take a quick picture.

What to Do if You Get Bipped

As much as we hope our guide to bipping and how to prevent car break-ins spares you from theft, it’s best to be prepared. If your car gets broken into, report it to the police immediately. Provide as much detail about your vehicle and the stolen belongings as possible. Ideally, log the serial numbers of all your electronics and store the list at home. You’ll need the police report for your insurance claim. Cancel any stolen credit cards immediately.

Reevaluate Your Insurance Coverage

Thus far, we have discussed how to avoid being the victim of a San Francisco car break-in, but proper insurance coverage is another way to protect yourself. Suppose you chose liability or collision insurance for your auto insurance policy. In that case, you may have no financial assistance recovering from a smash-and-grab. Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage done to your car by theft or vandalism. Off-premises coverage in your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance may cover the personal belongings stolen from your vehicle.

Contact your friendly Wawanesa agent today to review your insurance policies to be sure you’re fully protected in the event of a car break-in.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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