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Don't Make Your Car a Target When Traveling

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My note to a 30-year old woman friend of mine traveling in Spain (also applies to France, Italy and other countries as well, including the United States) for three months last  summer and fall: 

Make sure that you "santitize" your car for the entire trip. Especially, when you have to leave luggage or anything valuable in the car, always as a rule make sure that no car papers, nothing in English, no maps, no literature, nothing is showing in the interior when you park and leave the car. This is a must.  If you need something from your trunk, stop and take it out BEFORE you park, otherwise you will show a potential thief that you have things in the trunk.

Also pick up a local newspaper somewhere, even if it is a day old and leave it laying on the passenger seat or on the back seat with the masthead facing up. That will make the car look more local and not the car of a passing tourist with valuable objects in the trunk.

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