Crime Prevention Tips
Auto Theft Prevention
Taking precautionary measures can minimize your chances of becoming the victim of auto theft. In the United States a vehicle is stolen an average of every 21 minutes. Not only does auto theft cost the victim time and money, it costs society as it drives insurance premiums up. Stolen vehicles are also commonly used to commit other crimes. Car thefts can occur anytime -so be alert and follow these simple tips
- Never leave your car running unattended, even to dash into a store - this occurs frequently in winter months as drivers leave the engine running to keep the car warm - all it takes is a split second and your car is gone!
- Never leave any keys in the car, the ignition, or in hide-a-key boxes - even inside a locked garage
- Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is parked in front of your home
- Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk out of sight - Remove GPS mounts, and the tell-tale ring that is often left by suction cups on the dashboard
- Always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas, whenever possible
- Investigate the purchase of a vehicle theft tracking/security system, especially if you own one of the frequently stolen model vehicles such as a Honda Civic
- Never leave personal identification documents, such as the vehicle ownership title, or credit cards in your vehicle
- Do not store your home address in your GPS system. Use a nearby intersection or a business address.
- If you must leave your key with a valet, attendant, or mechanic, leave only the ignition key and not any house keys. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm, you can check with the Department of Consumer Affairs for more information
- In high theft areas the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be etched on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This makes it difficult for a thief to market your stolen car parts.
- Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report
- If your vehicle is stolen, report it to the police immediately