What can you do to lessen the risk of your vehicle being stolen?
- You should always lock your vehicle, even if parking for brief periods by: removing your keys from the ignition, locking your doors, closing all your windows, and parking in a well-lit area.
- Have a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. These devices include: audible alarms, steering wheel locks, steering column locks, brake locks, wheel locks, theft deterrent decals, identification markers in or on vehicle, window etching, and laminated glass.
- Install a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. These include: smart keys, high security locks & keys, fuse cut-offs, kill switches, and starter, ignition and fuel disablers.
- Install a tracking device which emits a signal to a police or monitoring station when the vehicle is reported stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.
- Have an anti-theft system on your vehicle. Passive and active anti-theft devices are the two options available. Passive devices automatically arm themselves when the vehicle is turned off, the ignition key removed, or a door is shut. Active devices require some independent physical action before they are set, such as pushing a button, or placing a "lock" over a vehicle component part.
- Join the Watch Your Car decal program. It's free. If you enroll your vehicle it becomes part of the Motor Vehicle Department database. You will receive decals for the front and rear windows of your vehicle. By displaying the decals, vehicle owners convey to law enforcement officials that their vehicle is not usually in use between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., when the majority of auto thefts occur. If a Police Officer sees the vehicle between these hours, they have the right to stop the vehicle and verify it is being legally operated by the rightful owner. You can sign up for this program online.
What else can you do to help resolve this problem?
Don't Buy a Stolen Vehicle! If the deal you are being offered looks too good to be true, it probably is! Don't meet the seller in an unsafe location. Don't pay by cash. Beware of pre-signed ownership documents, or sellers who are not both the registered and legal owners. Ask for picture ID and make sure it matches the registration document. Make sure all the license plate and Vehicle Identification numbers match the car and all the documents. Use common sense!
Get Involved! Report any suspicious activity or thefts in progress to the police. Be willing to testify in court. Participate in your neighborhood Block Watch program or start one if your neighborhood doesn't have one.