Here are some simple solutions to help secure your vehicle and make it less likely to be chosen as a target by an auto thief:
- An unlocked vehicle is on open invitation to a thief. Lock your car and take your keys with you. Sometimes, thieves walk by vehicles and try the door handles to see if a car is unlocked. A lot of the time, if a car is locked, they will move on.
- Close all windows, including vent wings and sliding or pop-open windows. Although it is hot in the summer months, leaving your windows slightly open will only invite a thief to force the window open.
- Remove anything of value from plain view! This is one of the most important tips to follow. Aside from the obvious items like removing your purses/wallets/briefcases, thieves have smashed windows to take small leather cases that hold CD's and day planners. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a thief to smash a window and remove something from inside the car.
- Don't leave your vehicle unattended in public parking lots for extended periods.
- Aside from your vehicle registration/insurance, never leave documents in the vehicle that reveal your residence address or other personal information.
- At night, park only in well lit, busy areas. If you park your vehicle outside your home at night, park it near a bright light.
- Even if you park your car inside your closed and locked garage, do not leave your keys in the car and remember to lock all doors as you would if you parked it outside.
Use Anti-Theft Devices
- Install and use anti-theft devices such as alarms, ignition locks and tracking devices.
- Consider the use of additional devices such as brake pedal locks and fuel cut-off switches.
- Use a locking gas cap to prevent fuel theft and/or tampering.
- Use high quality steering wheel locks.
- This is a violent type of auto theft. It can happen at any time of the day or night, and at any location. Here are some precautions:
- Keep your doors locked even while driving.
- Be aware of the surroundings before you exit your vehicle.
- Avoid lightly traveled streets, especially after dark.
- Keep your house keys on a separate key chain from your vehicle.
- When stopped in traffic, always allow yourself to make an escape if necessary (stop about a car length from the vehicle ahead of you).
- If someone threatens you with a weapon to take your vehicle, GIVE IT UP. Your life is NOT WORTH the loss of a vehicle.
Report Suspicious Activity
- If you see someone walking through a neighborhood or a parking lot looking into vehicles or trying the door handles, try and get a description of the person then call 911 (remember not to try and apprehend the person or attempt to contact them).
- Form a Neighborhood Watch Program.
- Educate your family and friends about the above tips; they may thank you for it.
If you have any questions about the above information, please call Deputy Bishop at (760) 836-1671.