Millions of dollars in merchandise are stolen from vehicles every year and the amount is steadily increasing. The total cost does not include damage to autos, the insurance costs as a result of these thefts, or the bitter disappointment of a victim.
A large number of these thefts occur at night; however, they can and do occur any time the opportunity presents itself to a thief.
The tips given are simple, inexpensive and mainly require observing proper habits in respect to the care of your car when leaving it unattended.
As with all crime prevention, the responsibility is yours. YOU must take charge of your affairs…we can only advise from our experience, or add you to a long list of victims.
- Close windows and lock your vehicle anytime you leave it unattended.
- Place valuables you must leave in your car out of sight – preferably in your trunk.
- Park in areas with pedestrian traffic if possible. Avoid dark, secluded areas.
- Auto burglar alarms are available. Advertise the fact that you have one if you do. (i.e.: window decals)
- Stereos, CB radios, cellular phones – prime targets – should be engraved with your driver’s license number (i.e.: B151123456789). Ideally they should be out of sight when parked. Purchase removable brackets which allow you to remove these items and lock them in the trunk or take them with you.
- Locking gas caps should be installed to prevent theft or vandalism.
- Cars with outside opening hoods should be secured with a lock.
- To prevent a thief gaining access using a coat hanger, smooth door locking buttons should be installed.
- Keep an inventory of all accessories and items with serial numbers for identification, such as tools etc.
- Do not hesitate to report suspicious persons in or around parked vehicles.
If you are a Victim
Be able to supply a list of items stolen, with serial numbers or engraved identifying marks if possible.