Vehicle Crime Prevention Tips - PG District VI COPS

Tips from Prince George's County Police District VI
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

I30 seconds, a thief can break into your car and steal your valuables
In 20 seconds, you can put
 your valuables into your trunk, out of sight!
These Items Left In Plain View Are Tempting To A Thief
GPS / Radar detector
Briefcases / laptop computers
Shopping bags

Car theft is actually going down in the U.S., but almost 1.2 million cars get stolen every year. There is no reason you have to be a victim. Avoiding car theft is not difficult. You just have to use your head. Here are 10 easy tips to avoid auto theft.

1. Lock your car. About half of stolen vehicles are not locked. It's such a simple step. If you find yourself coming back to an unlocked car quite often, consider posting yourself a reminder in a visible place in your car.
2. Take your keys. Yes, Roughly 20% of stolen cars get driven away with their own keys in them. And since many cars these days won't let you lock the doors without using your key or a button on your key fob, that means cars with their keys in them also were unlocked. That's like putting out a welcome sign for thieves.
3. Hide your valuables. Don't tempt a thief by having valuables in plain sight. You can not necessarily hide your car, but you don't have to put a bow on it.
4. Keep your windows up when you're not in the car. An open window makes it easier to unlock your car...or just open the door and get in. An open window is like locking your garage, but leaving your front door unlocked.
5. Park in a public spot with lots of light. Thieves don't want to risk getting caught unnecessarily. If you park in a dark alley, that is asking not to have a ride home.
6. Speaking of parking, park in your garage. This is another easy one. If you have a garage, use it. A thief would have to break into your house in that case, not just steal your car on the side of the street.
7. Get an anti-theft device. This could be one installed by the car manufacturer, or a device you can buy on the aftermarket. In fact, it is smart to have both. Get the anti-theft device from the manufacturer, and then go buy The Club. Nothing deters a thief better than seeing The Club locking your steering wheel.
8. Set your emergency brake and turn your wheels toward the curb. These things make it harder for thieves to tow your vehicle away.
9. Consider a security tracking service. Lojack or Onstar are the two biggest names. This not only can let law enforcement locate your car faster if it is stolen, but also might save you some money on your auto insurance.
10. Buy a car with an eye toward not having it stolen. This is not something you can do if you already own the vehicle, but if you are shopping, you should keep it in mind. But don't think only flashy cars get stolen. For years, the Honda Accord has been one of the most stolen vehicles, because it's easier for thieves to sell the parts without attracting attention
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