- Install an alarm or anti-theft device. Sometimes that small blinking light or the sound of an alarm will deter the theft of your car.
- Lock your car doors!
- Roll the windows up. Even a crack makes it easier to force a window down or allow other access to your car.
- Do not leave items of value in your car, especially in plain sight. See our entry on Auto Burglary Prevention.
- Do not leave your keys in the ignition. That makes for an easy target.
- Tint your rear windows. This makes it difficult to see into the vehicle and may obscure items of interest to a thief.
- Use other theft deterrent items such as a steering wheel lock or "club."
- Never leave your vehicle unattended and running. If you need to warm it, stay in the car. If you forgot an item, take the keys with you. And, never leave your young child in an unattended vehicle!
- Do not leave spare keys in the vehicle. Thieves will look in the glove box, under the floor mat and in the ash tray.
- Park in well lighted, public places. Don't make yourself a target.
These are just a few reminders of how to help avoid having your car stolen. Auto theft can be a crime of opportunity. Just like avoiding other types of crime, do what you can to make it as difficult, time consuming and frustrating for the bad guy. If you don't give them the opportunity, they will most likely move on to another victim.
A step that you can take today is to record your vehicle license plates. Write them down and keep them in your wallet or perhaps in a note in your PDA or cell phone. It is sometimes difficult for an officer to locate a vehicle identification with just owner information. In the event of a stolen vehicle, you should call the police immediately. If you have the vehicle license readily available, the "GTA" information can be entered quickly by the police. Getting that stolen vehicle into the system will help in the efforts to locate it. This is especially true for vehicles equipped with systems like "Lojack."
Tomorrow is July 1st. Help promote Auto Theft Awareness Month!