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Theft-proof car? Try Phil Collins

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One day — though not today — I will write the top ten things I've discovered covering crime.

High up on the list would be the axiom you soon learn: if an object can be stolen, it will be.

So, that means items you'd never, ever, ever consider vulnerable to theft will end up being victim to sticky fingers.

In Winnipeg, that means I've heard of pilfered construction equipment and public art (a statue from the Leo Mol garden). Really?

Anyways, to the thieves who've been rummaging through my vehicle at night, I have finally found the trick -- Phil Collins.

In the past few months, I have climbed into my (unlocked) car at least three times to find items astray and the glove box hanging open.

But no matter what's gone — like loose change I soon stopped leaving there — these tricky little thieves always leave my good old Phil Collins CD behind.

This stuff is apparently Kryptonite to thieves looking for valuables.

In one case, it was even tossed on the seat after being removed from the CD player, like someone had recoiled at the concept of carrying dear old Phil home.

(News to Phil, they REALLY don't want you. Like, um, apparently a half-used can of insect repellent was more attractive than listening to you sing the classics!)

Yes, I've also decided that perhaps my tactic to avoid a shattered window may have to change and I'll have to start locking doors.

Regardless, I recall once going into a music store in Portage Place and inquiring why there were hip-hop CDs being kept behind the counter -- and was informed by the clerk that those were the ones they felt were most likely to be taken by thieves. Musical profiling? You betcha.

Thanks to Phil, I've learned a valuable little lesson — listening to unhip music may be unhip, but man, does it have its benefits.

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About Gabrielle Giroday

Gabrielle has handled the police and crime beat for the Winnipeg Free Press since 2009, meaning she’s seen the best and worst humanity has to offer.

Covering the crime beat in a city known for its homicide rate and violent crime can be challenging, but Gabrielle tries to look at the more complex factors that drive violent events. She began the beat after originally joining the Free Press in June 2005.

Her previous experience contributing to the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine, the National Post, Maisonneuve magazine and NOW Magazine. She was also a member of the editorial board of the Queen’s University Feminist Review, and completed a degree there in politics and English. Some of the Toronto native’s favourite adventures include hitchhiking in the Cuban countryside during a stint studying in Havana, and hanging off the back of a jeep climbing the Kanchenjunga mountain in Nepal.

Gabrielle also felt privileged to write about the first-time elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the summer of 2006, and received a grant from the Canadian Association of Journalists and Canadian International Development Agency to write about sexual violence there.

She recently went to Cameroon in fall 2010 as part of an expert election monitoring team, on behalf of the Commonwealth.

When she’s not chasing a story, Gabrielle can be found jogging every morning by the Legislature and down Portage Avenue.

She’s always enthusiastic about stories that involve investigating the road less travelled or the opinion less broadcast.

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