Protect my Valuables

I am moving to NYC with my 1999 Honda Civic. I am hoping keep it parked outside of the city most of the time, but sometimes I will be in the city. I won’t keep valuables in it and get a steering wheel lock. However I have my daughter’s car seat in there and I don’t want to have to take it out all the time. Honda’s are notoriously easy to break into. My sister had a civic in the city that was broken into weekly. What can I do to protect my valuables?

I see no way around either removing the seat or parking it in a secure lot when in the city. Visible = stolen.

Any way to put it in the trunk, but not when you park it (stop beforehand)?

It’s a carseat. Not a big deal. Go get one from craigslist for $15 bucks and use that and don’t worry about losing it. That way, noone will mess with you.

You haven’t been buying new carseats lately, I guess…

Radios are a hotter commodity than car seats.

The trunk is a good idea. It just sucks to properly install every time. But I won’t be using it much so that is good. Luckily my radio sucks in that car. Used carseats are not to be trusted… There are lots of problems buying a different car seat every time. No such thing as just a carseat in a collision.

My suggestion: Consider to not do this at all. Sell your car or leave it where it is now for when you get back. Having a car in NYC is nothing but a pain. Why go through all that? Use the excellent public transport, and rent a car for those times when you need one. Why put up with all that unnecessary car ownership and parking aggravation? Focus on your new life, let go of the past one.

Well I have a place outside the city where I can park and store the car. So I won’t park it in the city on a daily basis. But I’m not made of money enough to rent a car every time I want to go to the Catskills. I think the carseat in the trunk is the best idea. I agree having a car in the city on a daily basis is not a great idea.

Is a car seat that much of an attraction to a thief?
Or is its value so high that it warrants a change of lifestyle?

I thought the answer to both questions was no.

Carseats today are big $ items in many cases so they are attractive to thieves.

Back in college when people were breaking into students’ cars left and right, I made a false floor/back seat cover by stretching black cloth over a folding wire frame. I then glued a bunch of stuff like McDonalds bags and sandwich wrappers (clean - I had a friend who worked there get me some) and other debris to it so that it looked like I had thrown a bunch of trash back there. I had a few strategic holes in the black cloth so that the seat cover would be barely visible through all the junk. When I was driving somewhere other than college, I could take the fake trash out, fold it up, and store it in the trunk out of sight. I never got burglarized - who wants to bother sifting through a bunch of trash in a slob’s car?

You’d have to pile your contraption pretty high to hide the car seat, but that’s about the only way I can think of short of electrifying the door handles to keep thieves away from the car seat without taking the seat with you when you leave it.

If they want it they’ll get it, one way or the other.
SO…like shadowfax mentioned…make it , or leave it un-appealing.
Don’t wash your car very often. Leave it plain and blah and don’t draw attention to it as anything special…they’ll walk on by.

That car seat you’re worried about…well , do NOT buy some fancy-schmancy designer brand. PLUS remove or cover the brand name of the one you have in there. Make it as plain and blah as possible ( ie; don’t buy one with flashy colors and bright stripes ) don’t draw attention to it.

But here’s the other worry I have about break ins…( happened to me, 78 Cordoba )
When they break in and find nothing really worth their time…they’ll vandalize it !
cut the seats and headliner, break windows, you name it , they’ll damage it.

Yet, I’ve proven my ‘‘plain and blah’’ theory for thirty years ( 72 - 02 ). I played every weekend at the local bars and when I got my brand new 92 Explorer I was worried about break ins ( first one there, last one to leave ). Yet leaving it un-washed and no exterior labels ( like sound system or fancy wheels ) it was never bothered at the rowdy bars even though other cars in the lot got broken in to. ( no one ever new it was the XLT with JBL sound, trailer tow, positrak, etc. just a plain black wrapper )

Plain and un-appealing is the best deterent.

I don’t think that suggesting someone buy an inferior, low cost car seat is a good solution. Personally, I want the best seat (i.e. protection) I can afford. I agree with the “make it unappealing” approach. My brother once lived in an area with a lot of theft. He took a brand new, high end stereo and painted it butt ugly, scratched up the face plate etc and no one bothered with it. You might use the same approach with the seat. Paint the sides with blotches of high visibility spray paints and put a grungy old blanket in it when it’s not in use.

Before I retired, I lived in a small rural city in the Midwest. A buddy had lived in the worst part of the city for 22 years. He told me when I came to visit him, to leave the driver’s window down, whether it was raining or snowing. And, I could leave $10,000 under the driver’s seat, and no one would bother it.

He said if the locals there saw a car with the windows up and locked, they would wonder what was in the car, and probably break all the windows to see.

Do you have to pay something to park your Civic outside the city? How much is your insurance going to be? If these turn out to be a few hundred a month, you might consider selling the car. If you don’t drive often, it might make sense to just get insurance when you rent. Here’s a discussion of when to buy auto insurance if you don’t own a car:’t-own-car

Thanks for all these great discussions and ideas

Gee, I’ve been living 1/2 mile from the ghetto for about 3years now, and have never had anything taken from my truck. And by ghetto, I mean dealers, hos, the whole bit.

What you’ve got to realize is that at least 80% of “smash and grab” theft is drug-related. Junkies aren’t thinking further ahead than their next rock or bag, and want something they can turn into cash, like freaking now! I can’t see fencing a car seat easily. I’d sooner leave a $100 seat in a car than $20 worth of copper.

Yeah, we have those clear headed junkies around here too :wink:
We’re not talking about a $100 car seat. That would be bottom of the barrel or a used one. I paid $350+ for each of the two I have. And frankly, I think you could find a crack head mom that needs a nice car seat for $20 faster than going to the scrap yard with copper (which they require identification to sell around here now).

There are car seats that have a base that gets strapped into the car. When you need to remove the car seat, the part that holds the child comes out while the base stays in the car. I suggest you get one of those.

I’ve only seen those for infants. Once your kid hits toddler age, you get the big bulky seat that clamps in whole. Regardless, it’s not too hard to remove the seat using LATCH, it’s the bulk of it. No place to put it and you don’t want to be lugging that around every day or even multiple times/day. Trust me, I wouldn’t have spent money for two of them if it wasn’t a royal PITA…