If you shop at stores such as Walmart, Kmart, or Target...(and other smaller stores)......and park your car on their property.....when you are well into the back of the store and your location is known...they can and will enter your car and go through it.
While in your car they might damage your property or possibly plant "evidence" or a surveillance bug.
You will not know your car has been entered unless you see it happen...or they leave a typical calling card...seat belt pulled out and twisted...lights left on...etc....the *sshole method.
If you are having a key made for your car (or house) and the person making it makes a mistake and cuts it too narrow...or on the wrong blank...they now have a pattern to make a working copy of your key after you leave. The key can end up in the hands of a cop or other criminal...if you can tell the difference.
Best to watch the process carefully and expect to take with you any messed up blanks?
You are supposedly protected from "unreasonable searches and seizures" by the 4th amendment....but since your car is on the stores' property...they can "legally" enter your car and search it. Likely the owner just needs to give them permission.
They won't have a warrant...and you won't likely even know it happened unless you find damage to your property...or see something disturbed.
If they have a key or your window is open...they can be in your car when your back is turned and you are 30 feet away.
Since most people shop in various stores and park in their lots...in effect the 4th amendment has been circumvented.
"Factoid: 82% of Americans made a purchase at Wal-Mart in 2002."
Bill of Rights
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
(One special case: when the property to be searched is an automobile, the requirement for a search warrant is waived. The officer must still be able to prove to the Court that his search is "reasonable," but he does not have to obtain a warrant to make the search. This is because the vehicle is mobile, and could be gone by the time a warrant could be obtained.)
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2 ... olice.html
"This isn't unique. Private security guards outnumber real police more than 5-1, and increasingly act like them.
They wear uniforms, carry weapons and drive lighted patrol cars on private properties like banks and apartment complexes and in public areas like bus stations and national monuments. Sometimes they operate as ordinary citizens and can only make citizen's arrests, but in more and more states they're being granted official police powers.
This trend should greatly concern citizens. Law enforcement should be a government function, and privatizing it puts us all at risk.
Most obviously, there's the problem of agenda. Public police forces are charged with protecting the citizens of the cities and towns over which they have jurisdiction. Of course, there are instances of policemen overstepping their bounds, but these are exceptions, and the police officers and departments are ultimately responsible to the public.
Private police officers are different. They don't work for us; they work for corporations. They're focused on the priorities of their employers or the companies that hire them. They're less concerned with due process, public safety and civil rights.
Also, many of the laws that protect us from police abuse do not apply to the private sector. Constitutional safeguards that regulate police conduct, interrogation and evidence collection do not apply to private individuals. Information that is illegal for the government to collect about you can be collected by commercial data brokers, then purchased by the police."
* Avoid shopping in large dept stores. Shop smaller stores or online?
* Park near the front door & windows so that your car is always observable from inside.
* Keep anything you want to keep private....out of sight.
* Have someone "babysit" your car?
* Lock your car and set the alarm....though this won't really be effective if they want in bad enough.
* They will have "back door" methods to get into your car.
* They can have a key made by using your VIN number as seen on your dash...and so can the typical criminal. They can obtain your key "pattern" when you have a spare made. They can use a "slim jim". They can disable your alarm.
Remember...the police are well insinuated with and involved with retail businesses as they are with most other businesses. Cops work from the stock room areas of car parts stores and dept. stores.