The first thing I do when I get into a rental car is put my bags in the back seat, which is usually where they stay until I get to my hotel; many people that I know do the same thing. A couple of Sundays one of my friends was in town, driving a rental car, and we met in downtown Denver (LoDo) for dinner. He parked his car under a streetlight, across the street from a well-lit bank, on the corner of a fairly major intersection, and while we were at dinner, someone smashed his back window and took off with his suitcase and laptop bag.
2 big lessons to be learned here:
- Put your stuff in the trunk of your rental car (or in the far back of a SUV and use the privacy screen if it has it). No matter how safe it is where you park your car, you want to create a less attractive target; chances are good the thieves would have walked right on by had they not seen the luggage in the back seat.
- If your laptop bag is your life, take it with you. My friend lost his laptop (secured with passwords), his backup memory stick (not secured), all of his chargers, his Blackberry (secured), his iPod, his camera, and his car and house keys. I have to admit that I keep all of the same stuff in my bag and though I've considered putting a flash drive on my keychain, my keys always wind up inside the bag so that I don't lose them, so I would have been in the same situation.
Thanks to r3v || cls for the image.