Massachusetts police take heat for locking unlocked cars

Petty thieves had been swiping iPods, GPS devices and prescription drugs from unlocked vehicles, and the police felt that a few hard lessons would change residents’ perceptions on securing their belongings.

Police back in Beverly locked all the car doors they found open during their weekend campaign, hoping to change some very stubborn habits.

Roughly one of every five parked cars police checked on over the weekend had either an unlocked door or open window.

I find it hard to believe that people don’t lock their cars. I lock mine; even in my own driveway. And I don’t live in a high crime area, even though it is highly populated. But I understand that in many rural areas people not only don’t lock their cars, they leave their keys in them. They also never lock their homes. Someone that lives in such an area (rural Montana) told me that everyone knows everyone else and if there is any trouble they all know who was likely the source. Such a small sphere makes it impossible for anyone to get away with anything. I wonder if anyone from Beverly came from a place like that.

When I parked my vehicles in the garage, I would leave the keys in the ignition, doors unlocked and the windows down some. But that’s it. Outside that garage, never. Locked up tight.

My reasoning for the garage scenario: If you’re good enough to get in, and the wife or I are home, take the car and go - it’s yours, congrats. Just leave the wife and me alone.

I routinely leave my car unlocked. I have had enough friends with windows smashed for whatever. Nothing in my car to steal, look if you wish robber thief, you don’t have to bust my window to do it.

Just my opinion but I think the police should leave the cars alone. If someone lives in an area where theft occurs and they choose to leave their car unlocked with valuables inside and those valuables come up missing, so be it. Hopefully they’ll learn a lesson from it.

I usually leave my house unlocked, cars unlocked, and one evening even left a checkbook on the dashboard with a large sum of cash in it (with the window down).
As I was going to bed I remembered it and said to heck with it. It was still there the next day.

In the case of the cops checking cars not only do you run into the area of locking someone’s car with the keys in it but whose to say a cop won’t help themselves to something in that car? There are a lot of dishonest cops out there in spite of the feel-good, do-good perception and the odds of catching a cop heisting something or prosecuting them is near zero.

Every week in OK it seems another cop (or 2 or 3 at a time) is being arrested for something. Recently in a small town south of me the city council there canned the entire fire department from the chief on down to the newest rookie. The haze hasn’t cleared yet but it’s apparently due to widespread theft and financial fraud.
This was even going on my town some years back with the fire chief dipping into funds (never prosecuted) and just a few years ago the fire dept. treasurer was also helping themselves. (also never prosecuted)

The bad ones give the other five percent a bad name.

I’m With Waterboy On Taking Valuables Out And Not Locking.
I’m With OK4450 On The Police Keeping Their Hands Off The Vehicles.

My wife locks her car in the driveway, sometimes because she leaves valuable in it. On the other hand, I would never leave valuable in my car parked in the driveway.

If I have to leave valuables in the car when I go someplace then I’ll lock, but usually I can take whatever is valuable with me. Going out of town sometimes finds me with a GPS, laptop, etcetera, in the vehicle and that’s when I lock.

I too live in rural America where people don’t always lock houses and cars and sometimes leave keys in cars. I’m not fo leaving keys in, though.

Two things in my background have shaped my thinking.

First, when I managed a body shop I’d frequently write estimates of several thousand dollars on vehicles that were broken into or had an attempted break-in. Often these break-ins ended unsuccesfully, damaging multiple doors, dasboards, etcetera. The lucky ones had windows broken out.

Second, when I worked at an airport where airplanes had tens of thousands of dollars worth of avionics onboard, the planes weren’t locked. This was to avoid having an attempted break-in damage the aircraft because the damage to the fuselage could result in very expensive repairs that would ground the plane for quite some time.
These planes were often parked outside and were protected by large signs that indicated tampering with the aircraft was a Federal offense and would be prosecuted as such. We had no problems.

Give me the choice to lock or not lock and leave all my other sound decsions and rights alone, thank you. I’m a big boy.


I’ve heard of people around me getting broken into(cars, garages, etc), yet mine has remained untouched. The only things I leave visible in my car are my work PPE, nothing else is left out. Hell, I don’t even bother to raise the blinds on my windows, so no one can see in my house, either. I’ve been the only one on my street that has any kind of security light, until recently anyways.

My thought is what of the poor guy that didn’t lock his doors because for whatever reason he doesn’t have a door key, or remote entry that works to unlock them? I’m sure a person in that situation appreciated the cops monkeying with their car.

Welcome, drivers, to the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts. The intelligentsia know what is best for you.

My father was a locksmith.  His view on the subject was simple,  You make sure your stuff is harder to steal than next door.  Crooks will find what they want, but it need not be yours.  His advice seems to have been right.

One of my buddies just leaves a few quarters in his change storage place, and they usually only seem to go after that when they get into his truck.