8 Most Pointless Crimes, And What They Teach About Thieves

Getting ripped off is one of the many life events that can make one thankful they have insurance. Auto, renters, various forms of specialty insurance — one never knows when they might become the target of someone’s kleptomania (or desperation). This recently happened to a Redditor.

“Somebody smashed my car window last night,” the Redditor wrote. “They stole my gym bag with my dirty undies in it. The repairs will cost me $240. My insurance deductible is $250.”

He then asks the community what the “most pointless crime” they’ve been the victim of is. The answers didn’t disappoint. We’ll count the above as number one and pick up the numbering at two.

  1. “The ashtray stolen out of my first car. I kid you not. Sure, as a non-smoker, the ashtray was in a better state than the rest of the car and I had nothing else of value in it. But the ashtray? Some people have suggested that it would be because people sometimes keep change in it. But one you pull the tray open, it is pretty clear whether there is money there. It isn’t like one of those wall safes where if you can pull it out and take it with you then you can take your time to open it elsewhere and get the goodies inside.”
  1. “Apparently I left my car unlocked a few weeks ago and someone rifled through my stuff. They stole a pair of 4 year-old Banana Republic sunglasses and a wallet I keep in my center console for business cards (no cash at all). They left a pair of Armani sunglasses, a radar detector, and the set of golf clubs I had in the trunk.”
  1. “Someone once stole my laundry basket from the laundry room of my apartment building. A week later, I saw it again full of their clothes. The basket had my name on it in sharpie, so I knew it was mine. I dumped their clothes on the floor and returned victorious to my depressing studio apartment.”
  1. “Many years ago in San Francisco we went to the Academy of Science (before the big remodeling). We came back out to our car when we were done and someone had smashed the passenger window and the only thing gone was a single pair of gloves. They werent even nice gloves.”
  1. “In college, my buddy had his car broken into for an empty pack of cigs. The perp broke the passenger side window, messed up the lock and door handle, and stole an empty pack of cigs. There was a bunch of change in the console, lots of CDs, and a decent car stereo. Did they take any of that? Nope. Just an empty cigarette pack. Whoever it was caused hundreds of dollars in damages to the car, too. It was the most WTF thing I know of.”
  1. “Someone slashed the plastic window on my Jeep to break into it. They could have just unzipped it, and opened it that way, but no, they slashed the window open. Their entire haul from breaking in was a cheap t-shirt I had received at a cancer benefit, the Jeep owners manual that came with the car, and a pack of gum that had one piece left in it.”
  1. “I had some moron break into my house and steal my Xbox. Not the 360 or the unopened PS3 sitting there or the gaming PC, laptop, iPad, phone, or any of the more pricey misc[ellaneous] stuff I own. Just the original Xbox and a shoulder bag that had a rip in it. And a handful of pennies. Seriously? You caused my house $800 in damages and you only took the old Xbox?”


If these stories can teach customers anything about managing risk, it’s that thieves often look for victims of opportunity and they’re not always going to go for the biggest ticketed items. Therefore, it’s wise for customers — whether they are auto or homeowners or renters — to place their property and belonging in secure situations. If parking the car in a big city, choose a parking garage that often comes with security and camera surveillance. If that isn’t available, then park somewhere that makes the car more trouble than it’s worth to break in to. Somewhere that increases a thief’s odds of getting caught. They’ll likely choose an easier target.

If at home, leave outside lights on, put away any valuable merchandise that can be put away, and make sure that contents are insured for their full replacement value.


In Summary

It’s not possible to completely deter a thief. Some will brave the risks no matter what. But insurance customers should understand that they can greatly reduce the risks by making their property and belongings less obvious and thusly attractive for thieves. If they do get ripped off, it’s far better to be one of the people in the examples above than someone who gets taken for thousands of dollars.

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