Unlocked and Dangerous: SHS Student Experiences Car Break-in at his Home

By Alex Cohen

A memorable moment in not just one’s high school career, but in one’s life in general, is passing the road test and acquiring a driver’s license. From the second the instructor in the passenger seat informs you of your achievement, a variety of thoughts emerge; the freedom, the quick access to food, and even the extra-grocery shopping. These are all factors that can change once a person can get behind the wheel.  

Regardless of the nature of these changes, it is crucial to note that colossal responsibility accompanies driving. Driving above the influence, driving without texting/checking your phone, and obeying the rules of the road certainly fit together to help define this responsibility. One similarity between all these is that they all take place when the car is in motion. However, there is also responsibility that comes when the car isn’t in motion.

When a car is left unlocked and unattended, it is a gigantic risk for theft in what’s sitting inside of the car, or even the car itself if the vehicle is left running with the keys inside. Thankfully, Stoughton High School senior Cameron Doherty did not leave his keys inside of his car when someone/some people entered his car late at night recently.

Doherty left his car in his driveway unlocked overnight, as he later found his glove compartment opened with things everywhere in the morning, upon entering his car on his way to school. Cameron Doherty’s father, Phil Doherty, had left his car unlocked too, which led to his glove compartment being opened and searched, as well. Fortunately for both father and son, nothing valuable was found or taken from their cars.

It seems that the unwritten rules of keeping a car safe and secure when parked are often neglected, especially at people’s own homes. The false sense of security may come from knowing that the car is parked outside your house, a place of relative safety.

When asked about his neglect in locking his car, student Doherty said, “Not intentionally, but yes, people assume bad things won’t happen to them, so they often forget to take the necessary precautions. For me, it happened because I neglected to lock the doors.”

One of the main reasons for vehicle break-ins is to steal the valuables that may be inside the car. Doherty weighed in on the rationale behind leaving valuables in your car, and said, “It really isn’t a smart decision. There is rarely a benefit to it, and there is a huge risk. If someone spots something valuable, they are much more inclined to try and break into a car.”

Although Doherty did not have any valuables in his car, the attempted robbery certainly was eye-opening for him. He resides in a suburban neighborhood which possesses the conventional image of being a much less risky place for robbery, opposed to some more urban areas that often have higher rates of crime.

Doherty described the effect that the event had on him, “It made me realize that even living in a neighborhood, you still need to be careful and protect your belongings. Now, I make sure that every night the car is locked, and my Dad does too.”

Taking away some wisdom from this experience, Doherty also added some advice for other Stoughton High School students, as well as car-owners in general. “Make sure that at all times the car is locked; don’t keep valuables in your car if it can be avoided, and make sure that your car alarm is working,” said Doherty.

It is a great sight to see that not only did Doherty and his father avoid actual theft, but that they are also making this situation a worthwhile and significant lesson; a lesson that is going to prohibit, or at least reduce the likelihood of theft in/of their cars in the future.

It is imperative that the residents of Stoughton ensure that their cars are secure when they aren’t physically present. With Doherty and his father’s experience, Stoughton High School students can learn a little something about taking security for granted. Lock up!

Jenna KellyComment