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Car window smash and grab @ Lyneham Indoor Sports Centre

By Ellebana - 3 February 2012 13

Last night my husband played Indoor Cricket at the Lyneham Indoor Sports Centre. While he was playing some lowlife smashed the window of his car and stole his Iphone.

We NEVER leave our phones in parked cars anywhere, but on this occasion the phone appears to have fallen out of his pocket when he was either driving or getting out of the car. He didn’t realise the phone was missing until he saw the smashed window after the game and couldn’t find his phone.  

We used “Find My Iphone” but the thief removed the sim, so it can’t locate the phone.  Optus have tagged the IMEI, making the phone only usable as an Ipod on Australian networks, so the thief won’t have any luck unless they sell it to some stupid sucker.  

We thought the phone was covered under our top level NRMA home contents insurance, but unfortunately they now tell us that we needed to register every single item that might be lost outside the home. When I took out the policy I specifically said we wanted portable coverage for our Iphones, video camera, Ipad, laptops etc and at no time was I told that we needed to register each item individually.

I’m mad to say the least.  

Thankfully the broken car window is covered under our windscreen insurance (go figure!) and we won’t need to pay an excess.

The purpose of this post is threefold:

1. To warn others that the cops told my husband there has been a spate of smash and grabs in Canberra carparks recently. So watch what you leave in your car, and double-check your pockets/handbag if you’re like us and would never knowingly leave valuables behind.

2. Check your home contents insurance and make sure that you have covered all the fine print requirements for claims on items outside the home.

3. If anyone has any knowledge of this theft – there are photos of our new baby and other kids on the phone that we would love to get back. Since the phone is now useless as an Iphone unless unlocked by us, we would prefer the thief returned it somehow, no questions asked, rather than just dumped it.  I know it’s a long shot, but we don’t know what else to do to get the photos back.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Car window smash and grab @ Lyneham Indoor Sports Centre
Ellebana 2:16 pm 03 Feb 12

“For your new phone, definately look into the options on automatically storing your photos into some sort of a cloud photo storage service – iCloud, Google etc.”

Thanks Jamie, we are definitely doing this on the weekend. It was always on the “To Do” list, now it’s on the “Must Do” list.

carnardly 1:10 pm 03 Feb 12

Another lesson learnt would be to read the policy documents when you get them and check they do in fact meet your needs.

If it was just a “stupid oversight” why would you give your husband the “wrath of angy wifeliness” . No point getting up him if it was just his crappy tracksuit pants that let him down…

And – now, as well as angry and anxious, you can get smart.

Jamie Wheeler 1:00 pm 03 Feb 12

Ellebana said :

As I said in the post, we never KNOWINGLY leave our phones in parked cars. We have previously had our house robbed and car stolen, so we are very security conscious. It was just our dumb luck that hubby was wearing new trackies made out of lightweight fabric (which we now know to have useless, slippery pockets). He didn’t feel the phone fall out of his pocket and it was dark and rainy when he parked the car, so he didn’t see it.

I’m very security concious also but despite this have done exactly the same thing and had my phone fall out of my pocket and accidentally left in the car. It’s so easily done and just really bad luck for you it happened while there was a crime spree going on. For your new phone, definately look into the options on automatically storing your photos into some sort of a cloud photo storage service – iCloud, Google etc. Any data stored on a smart phone is at high risk of loss, so must be backed up regularly.

Ellebana 12:30 pm 03 Feb 12

As I said in the post, we never KNOWINGLY leave our phones in parked cars. We have previously had our house robbed and car stolen, so we are very security conscious. It was just our dumb luck that hubby was wearing new trackies made out of lightweight fabric (which we now know to have useless, slippery pockets). He didn’t feel the phone fall out of his pocket and it was dark and rainy when he parked the car, so he didn’t see it. He was running late for the game and assumed that he must have left his phone at home, so he didn’t think twice about it until he came out and saw the car window broken. Believe me, he has felt that wrath of angry wifeliness over this stupid oversight.

Apparently other cars were broken into at Lyneham last night, both at the cricket and netball centres; plus outside a gym elsewhere in Canberra.

With regard to our insurance – the phone definitely isn’t covered as car contents. I’m going to have a good look at the fine print of our house contents policy, because I certainly wasn’t aware that goods had to be listed individually to be covered by “portables” insurance. I’m still angry that when I specifically purchased this policy in the first place from NRMA I was not told that I needed to itemise things. We had previously been insured with Comminsure and they were so disgraceful with our house and car theft claims that we went to NRMA because they seemed to be better. We seem to always be getting caught out by the fine print with our claims, and the whole claiming process becomes just as stressful as the thefts themselves.

To their credit, NRMA have been excellent with the broken window claim (O’Brien’s are fixing it for us today), and they were also very good when our neighbour reversed into the car last year. Plus we came to NRMA because their home contents policy was much better than Comminsure’s. But as for NRMA Landlord’s Insurance – don’t get me started about how disgusted I am with that rip-off. If you are a landlord… run, don’t walk, away from NRMA insurance.

So I guess there are lots of lessons to be learned from all this, which was one of the reasons I decided to post our story here. Interestingly I came to Canberra from Sydney a few years ago, and had only ever made two insurance claims in my life (rear-ended both times). Since arriving in Canberra we have been robbed three times. Makes me both angry and anxious.

qbngeek 12:26 pm 03 Feb 12

Can I just add that in the future you should keep your photos stored elsewhere. Sign up for Goggle+, you don’t have to use it for anyhting but the mobile app will automatically upload photos as you take them. You can also look at something like dropbox.

My personal choice is Flickr as that is what I use to store all my photos online as I have lost many in the past when a laptop failed between backups. It also means my family can access the photos anytime they want to.

Holden Caulfield 11:59 am 03 Feb 12

vet111 said :

Worth asking the question about whether it might be covered under your car’s insurance policy – some offer coverage of contents within the car, including electronics….

Yep worth trying, although they’re often limited to $500 total. Still, that’s better than nothing.

I am in the middle of a car repair claim with NRMA (not at fault) and it’s been going smoothly so far. I was considering getting a quote from them for home/contents insurance, but perhaps not.

vet111 11:37 am 03 Feb 12

Worth asking the question about whether it might be covered under your car’s insurance policy – some offer coverage of contents within the car, including electronics….

Jamie Wheeler 11:29 am 03 Feb 12

Sorry to hear about losing the phone and the photos. Sounds like you’re smart and never leave valuables in the car but got unlucky on this occassion. Also your issues with NRMA don’t suprise me. I had to claim twice with them, neither incidents my fault as they were related to theft. On both occassions, NRMA tried their best to delay paying on the claims by not phoning me back, making me chase them up with countless phone calls. When I didn’t give up, they then eventually paid the claims. In both claims they underpaid and I had to chase up the full amount. In one of the claims, the car was insured for an agreed value and was written off. The claim paid was $500 under the agreed value on my policy, then I had to battle with them to pay the full amount. After alot of hassle the $500 was eventually paid up and they blamed “computer errors”. The claim process with NRMA was more stressful than the damage the criminals did. Then I bought my new car and a year later they jacked up the premiums and wouldn’t explain why. All this after 20 years of not making a claim.

With the data loss, it’s a shame you lost photos but this could have also happened many other ways so make sure to backup any important data stored on any computer, especially a portable device. These days people are putting huge amounts of data onto smart phones and it’s a risky thing. With the iPhone and IOS5, you can setup iCloud to do this automatically for your photos for thirty days. Then every 30 days, you can copy all photos/data onto a computer. Then get a large portable hard drive, backup the data on the computer and keep in a safe place, preferrably in a different physical location. Then if there’s a catastrophe then your data is safe and all you’ve lost is some money.

carnardly 11:22 am 03 Feb 12

“We NEVER leave our phones in parked cars anywhere,”

Well, I guess you did. But mongrels are everywhere.

poetix 11:06 am 03 Feb 12

tidalik said :

Oh, and indoor cricket is a terrible sport. 🙂

Yes, you can really see its disadvantages on a rainy day like today…

dpm 11:00 am 03 Feb 12

The more things change, they more they stay the same….
http://the-riotact.com/dont-leave-stuff-in-your-cars/50544
🙁

tidalik 10:48 am 03 Feb 12

Is there some sort of insurance ombudsman you can complain to? It doesn’t seem fair that you requested cover for this item when taking out insurance only to find that you weren’t covered.

I hope you get your phone back.

Oh, and indoor cricket is a terrible sport. 🙂

fnaah 10:42 am 03 Feb 12

Yeah, I was pretty disappointed (read: furious) with NRMA after a heartless cabbie decided to keep my phone. I have that fancy new “portable goods” cover, so I called them up, and they told me I didn’t have coverage for “poratble electronic devices” because I didn’t specify that option when I bought the policy, despite me telling them that I work in IT and wanted my laptops etc covered….

Insurance is a fkn scam. 🙁

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