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11 Things You Should Never Keep in Your Glove Compartment

While drivers need to keep important documents in their vehicles, keeping them in your glove compartment can also make you a target.

close up of glove compartment in modern carJanthiwa Sutthiboriban/Shutterstock

As a responsible driver, you might think your glove compartment is the perfect place to keep essentials like your owner’s manual, vehicle registration, insurance card, and garage door opener close at hand. In a survey conducted by the Alberta Motoring Association in Canada, 77 percent of its members said they keep documents like their registration and insurance card in their glove compartment. Unfortunately, though, the glove compartment is often the first place thieves look after they break one of your car windows or jimmy a lock. “We have reports from our law enforcement partners that car thieves have stolen the car, driven it to the residence, and burglarized the home before the owner even knew the vehicle was missing,” Joe Wehrle, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, told personal finance site Clark.com. So to protect yourself, here’s what you should take out of your glove compartment, pronto.

Personal informationigorfrontier/Shutterstock

Personal papers

Your glove compartment might seem like a convenient place to store important documents, but you should never leave anything with personal information like your home address there. “It’s just too easy for thieves to take your ID and use it to make phony credit cards, loan applications—you name it,” Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, told Carinsurancequotes.com.

Close-up shot of paper document with statust checked - Yes in registration field. Shellow depth of fieldatdigit/Shutterstock

Vehicle registration

No one wants to get pulled over for speeding, but should that happen, you want to make sure you have your registration on you. That said, thieves can use the information to create fake registrations. Instead, keep a photocopy in your wallet or a picture of your registration on your phone. Atlanta police, for example, will accept a copy and then verify the information, according to Clark.com. Find out about 15 things you should never leave in your car.

big envelope for letter confidential papersPHENPHAYOM/Shutterstock

Vehicle title

Likewise, don’t store your car’s title in your glove compartment. You wouldn’t need it in case of a collision or getting pulled over. And thieves could take yours and use it to create fake titles, Scafidi says.

cash register receipts in a pilevesna cvorovic/Shutterstock

Receipts

Receipts can contain all kinds of personal information: your name, address, email address, sometimes even your credit card number. That’s a field day for identity thieves. Keep your receipts at home instead. Don’t miss these things burglars won’t tell you.

White minimalist wireless headset placed on a dark wooden laminated surface with blurred white curtain crossing a window behind itAnna-Marie/Shutterstock

Valuables

It’s a good idea to stow valuables like electronics out of sight if you don’t plan to take them with you. But that doesn’t make them safe in your glove compartment. And keep in mind that car insurance doesn’t cover personal items that might be stolen from your car, according to the AMA.

Close-up of a man's hand stretches to the pocket in which sticks out a black wallet with money and cardsKonstantin2017/Shutterstock

Driver’s license

Your license is also a treasure trove of information to identity thieves. Keep it in your wallet instead of the glove compartment. Don’t miss these 17 bizarre things thieves have stolen.

Old wallet texture on concrete floor background. empty purse with nobody.ThaiPrayBoy/Shutterstock

Checkbook and wallet

Stowing your credit cards and checks in the glove compartment is also a bad idea. Thieves can have access to your account numbers and can make purchases with your cards. Carry your checkbook and wallet with you in a backpack or purse instead.

Garage door PVC. Hand use remote controller for closing and opening garage doorGagoDesign/Shutterstock

Garage door opener

If your car is out and about, thieves know that you’re not home. They may be able to find out where you live if you’ve left documents that include your address in your car. And access to your garage door opener is basically rolling out the welcome mat to thieves. Here are 13 signs a burglar is watching your house.

Close up Shot of Conceptual Silver Ballpoint Pen on Top of Invoice Papers Printed with Figures.sergign/Shutterstock

Invoices

You might be holding on to the itemization of your car’s last service because of the list of suggested future repairs. Not a bad idea, but don’t stow it in your glove compartment. Invoices often also include your home address. Locked out? Here’s how to unlock your car in 30 seconds without your keys.

AA batteries lined up in a roll...close upThomas M Perkins/Shutterstock

Batteries

Keeping a supply of batteries on hand seems like a good idea to keep your flashlight working in case of emergency. But temperature fluctuations can greatly affect the quality of batteries. Heat speeds up the chemical deterioration of batteries, according to Kiplinger’s. Don’t store them in your glove compartment during the warmer months and change them out regularly to make sure they’re still good.

Real estate concept - Keys on white wooden sunny backgroundRoberts Photography/Shutterstock

Extra set of keys

It may be handy to have an extra set if you lose your keys. But keeping them in your glove compartment could provide thieves with another easy entry to your home. Next, find out 18 things car thieves won’t tell you.

Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Prevention, Rhode Island Monthly, and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.