Disney World in Orlando, Florida likes to call itself “The Happiest Place on Earth.” To be certain, it is a joyful place. It’s clean, efficient, friendly, and an adventure for adults and children alike.

But each day at Disney World, someone returns to their car after a day of riverboat rides and Mouse sightings to discover that something is missing. Someone rummaged through their car and now that happy family is the unhappy victim of a theft.

As the weather warms and the days lengthen, many of us are going to our local “Happiest Place on Earth”: The James River Park.

And just like in Florida, not everyone going has the best of intentions.

Richmond Police have warned of an increase in car break-ins in and around the James River Park. But these aren’t masked pirates roaming the river demanding your jewels. These are crimes of opportunity.

Every day, someone heads to Pony Pasture and leaves their car unlocked. They tuck their keys into that perfect hiding spot so they won’t have to carry them around all day. If they can think of a creative spot to hide those keys, a creative thief can find them.

Maybe you don’t want to carry that purse or laptop as you hop from rock to rock. It takes 5 seconds to smash a window and relieve you of that bag or device.

Lock you car. Keep your keys with you. If it’s valuable, take it with you, leave it at home, or at the very least make certain that it’s locked up and out of sight.

Don’t provide the opportunity, and you won’t become that unhappy victim.

Image is courtesy of Dave Parrish Photography