Tags: Don't | Lose | Your | Wheels | Auto | Theft | Prevention

Don't Lose Your Wheels – Auto Theft Prevention

Monday, 20 September 2004 12:00 AM

Well, it’s true folks. So what can you do today to reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen? Take a look at these outstanding ideas recommended by law enforcement pros:

1. When parked, lock your auto (including completely closing your windows), and take your keys. Plus, never hide a second set of keys in your car. Quick security tip: even today, many vehicles are ripped-off while its keys are still in the ignition - so don’t make it that easy for the “bad guys.”

2. When possible, park in well lit areas, and attended parking lots. Quick security tip: if you must leave your key with a parking attendant, leave only the ignition key.

3. Never leave your auto running unattended as cars are commonly stolen at convenience stores, ATMs, and other “quick-stop” type locations. Quick security tip: Not only is leaving an unattended running vehicle very dangerous - it’s also illegal in many areas.

4.It’s a good idea to park your vehicle as close as possible to an open business.

5. Also, don’t tempt a thief - please do not leave any of your valuables in plain sight. Quick security tip: why not secure your valuables in your trunk or cover them with a blanket?

6. Another simple idea is to always engage your emergency brake when parked.

7. If you have a garage - use it. Quick security tip: be sure to also secure your garage door as well.

8. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, you may want to consider removing your auto’s distributor cap or the coil wire.

9. Never leave your car’s registration or title in the vehicle.

10. You may want to replace any “T-shaped” doors locks with the harder to open “straight” locks.

11. It’s a good idea to perhaps etch your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on your windows. Quick security tip: some police departments might offer this type etching at no or low cost to you.

12. You may want to consider purchasing enhanced vehicle protection such as:

A. Electronic security systems.

B. Vehicle tracking systems.

C. Ignition and fuel “kill” switches.

D. Steering wheel locks.

E. Floorboard locks that prevent the use of the gas and/or brake pedal.

F. Wheel or tire locks.

G. Protective collars around the steering column that deter criminals from reaching the ignition wires.

For more information on auto theft prevention, contact the Crime Prevention Office at your local police department. They will be happy to assist you.

A Quick Security Tip: If you decide to add any addition security devices to your vehicle, it is best to get quality products, and please note that certain security items should only be installed by qualified professionals.

My Final Thoughts: If your vehicle is stolen, please sure to report it at once to your local police agency. It is vital to have your vehicle’s license plate number and/or its VIN available so it can be listed as stolen. Your prompt reporting is the best chance you have to recover your vehicle before it is delivered to a “chop shop” for its parts or it’s used in a crime (stolen autos are frequently used to commit other crimes). An important heads-up:

If you somehow recover your own car, please immediately advise the police. Otherwise, your car will be continued to be listed as stolen.

Copyright 2004 by Bruce Mandelblit

Bruce welcomes your thoughts. His email address is: CrimePrevention123@yahoo.com. Bruce is a nationally known security journalist, as well as a recently retired, highly decorated reserve Law Enforcement Officer. Bruce writes Staying Safe, a weekly syndicated column covering the topics of security, safety and crime prevention. Bruce was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel - the state’s highest honor - for his public service. This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency and legal professional for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.


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Well, it's true folks.So what can you do today to reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen?Take a look at these outstanding ideas recommended by law enforcement pros: 1. When parked, lock your auto (including completely closing your windows), and take your keys.Plus,...
Monday, 20 September 2004 12:00 AM
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