Vehicle Crime

Most cars are taken by amateurs who can be stopped. You can increase your protection against this type of crime by taking the following sensible precautions.

Secure Your Vehicle

  • An unlocked car is an open invitation to a car thief - lock your car and take the keys with you.
  • Close all windows - professional thieves have tools that unlock cars through the smallest openings.
  • When you park your car, remove all valuable possessions from range of view. If you are unable to take your valuables with you, lock the valuables in the trunk. Valuables can include:
    • Cameras
    • Cell phones
    • Compact discs
    • iPods
    • Personal documents
    • Purse
  • Lock your car even if you are going to make a quick stop at an automated teller machine (ATM), gas station, or store.
  • Don't leave your car in an unattended public parking lot for an extended period of time. A car is five times more likely to be stolen from an unattended lot than from the street or attended lot.
  • Park in well-lit areas with plenty of pedestrian traffic.
  • Turn your wheels sharply toward the curb. This will make it more difficult for thieves to tow your car.
  • Never leave your car running and unattended to warm it up in the morning.

Keep Track of Keys & Documents

  • Never hide a second key in or on your vehicle.
  • If possible, park your car where you do not have to leave your keys. Only leave the ignition key if you have to leave the keys. 
  • Never attach a tag with your name and address on it.
  • Keep your registration and proof of insurance in your wallet, not in the car.

Invest in Security Features

  • When buying a car, check out the anti-theft options, such as:
    • Engine immobilizers
    • Global positioning system (GPS) vehicle tracking
    • OnStar
    • Remote keyless entry (smartkeys)
  • Consider the purchase and installation of after-market security devices such as:
    • Engine immobilizers
    • Hood locks
    • Lo-Jack