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As she had to leave at 5AM the next morning, Brittney Henry, the reigning Miss Washington, packed her car the night before. When she awoke, however, she found the car, along with her crown and gowns, gone from her driveway.

The car was recovered a few miles from her home, but her possessions were gone. Henry estimates the value of her stolen belongings at $10,000, which, because the car was a loan from her Miss Washington title, is not covered by insurance. Ouch.

"To have my crown and sash stolen, which can't be sold because they say Miss Washington 2011 on them, is unfathomable to me," she told KING 5 News. "That was the crown that made my dreams come true, that goal and dream I'd had for so many years."

Miss Washington is certainly not alone in this scenario as, remarkably, a vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds in the U.S. Follow these five easy tips to greatly reduce your odds of having your vehicle broken into or stolen:

1. Don't leave vehicle on and unattended. This seems like a no-brainer to most people, but it happens all the time. Even if you're going inside the store "for a second," do you really want to make it that easy for a thief? Some parents even leave babies and toddlers in car-seats, with the engine running. That's an incredibly bad idea.

2. Get a car with an anti-theft device or alarm. When car shopping, look for vehicles that come with some form of anti-theft device. This is a good way to prevent theft from the very beginning of your car ownership experience.

3. Don't leave items out in the open. Thieves are going to have much more incentive to break into your car if you leave purses, wallets, iPods, phones, etc. in an easily visible place when your car is parked. And for Pete's sake, don't leave the valet key to your car in the cup-holder or console. Police report this happens more often than you would think. No need to hot-wire the car if you give the thief a key.

4. Roll your windows up and always lock the doors. Regardless of how familiar you are with the neighborhood, it's always a good idea to lock your doors, even if you're away from your car for a short period of time. Roll up your windows, too, unless you want to totally negate the effects of locking your doors.

5. Park in a well-lit area. Cars that are easily visible by public eyes are less likely to be stolen, says law enforcement. Thieves don't want to risk being easily caught, after all.

Additionally, it will help to not have one of these cars:

View Gallery: The Top 6 Most Stolen Cars In The U.S.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 138 Comments
      Ally
      • 3 Years Ago
      to all the people questioning her looks. . . maybe the beauty pageant scene is finally focusing less on trivial outer beauty, like they've been claiming for the past two decades or so? keep hope alive!
      kamidaddy
      • 3 Years Ago
      If she is the most beautiful girl in Washington, remind me not to go there!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kamidaddy
        how terrible. I bet your way worse looking..
      babettekittie
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cry me a friggin' river! Get over yourself if THIS is the worst thing that has happened to you.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @babettekittie
        I think youd be pretty upset too if you had $10,000 worth of things stolen from you.........
          • 3 Years Ago
          If I had $10,000 worth of stuff I wouldn't leave them unattended in a car overnight out in the open...kind of deserved to happen - now she knows never to do something so stupid again
      kamidaddy
      • 3 Years Ago
      The real news here is that an average looking, over-weight girl with no common sense is Miss Washington!!
        rally350
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kamidaddy
        kamidaddy do you come on here to show your azz or show that you are an azz?
      Sammy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not saying she deserved to be stolen from, but it was pretty stupid to leave $10,000 worth of items just sitting in her unattended car. Also, of course it can be sold. Just because it says Miss Washington she thinks no one would want it?
        Mare
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sammy
        Only her sash said Miss Washington. Not sure who'd buy the ccrown and gowns, I'm thinking that car thieves don't know many people that would wear them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      YOU MORONS BLAME HER. ITS PROBABLY YOUR KIDS THAT ARE DOING IT. FIRST THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. SHE LEARNED A LESSON .SECOND OF ALL ISN'T TERRIBLE THAT WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE WE HAVE TO WATCH OUR EVERY NKOW WHATS GOING ON. IF I HEAR ONE MORE ADULT SAY AGAIN I TRUST MY KIDS I SWEAR I WILL SLAP THEM.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lol........
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmm, no brains...and not that pretty either.
        sthompsonramm
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but... two Bachelor degrees. Your comment is juvenile at best.
      daibee
      • 3 Years Ago
      dumb blonde strikes again...
      • 3 Years Ago
      That sucks whats the world coming people need to learn to keep there hands to themselves and leave others property alone .
      BOB
      • 3 Years Ago
      They will look nice on a bros broad.
      Jeri-Anne
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why wouldn't the car have insurance on it that covered theft? And, I agree, she doesn't need any lectures, this was her dream, she's young and heartbroken-can't Washington afford to replace these items?
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