Locking your car may not be enough to keep crooks out. There's more you can do.

Criminals are still in the habit of stealing things from cars. Most people do take the minimal precaution and do lock their cars but sometimes even that doesn’t help.

One recent development in criminals are now using “scanner boxes” to open the newer cars that come equipped with electronic locks. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the devices use technology for keyless car entry, which drivers typically use for easy one-click access to their vehicle or to prevent getting locked out.

Scanner boxes are readily available on line and were not originally intended for criminal use, but as is sometimes the case criminals find new ways to use legal devices to do criminal acts.

USA Today reported that the technology may be linked to car burglaries in Long Beach California, last year, when police said an “unknown technology” had allowed a trio of thieves’ quick access to eight vehicles in one night.

It doesn’t matter what kind of security technology your car may have; the bottom line is you still need to do more to protect yourself and your property. Here are some things the NICB recommends.

  • Lock your vehicle no matter where you leave it.
  • Close windows and sun roofs.
  • Hide tempting items, including navigation systems (along with their suction cup mounts), phone or electronic device adaptors and power plugs.
  • Put shopping bags in the trunk.
  • Conceal visible cargo.

In addition, your comprehensive auto insurance coverage may not cover some of these things. Comprehensive coverage covers drivers if their vehicle is stolen. But this gets trickier when it comes to car break-ins. Your comprehensive coverage only covers permanent parts of your car such as your car window, locks or catalytic converter that are stolen or damaged during an incident. Personal belongings and items such as purses or wallets are not covered.

If you’re not sure what is covered by your insurance in case of a break in, contact your agent and find out.