One vehicle is
stolen every 21 seconds in the United States. Stolen cars, vans,
trucks, and motorcycles cost victims time and money -- and increase
everyone's insurance premiums. They're also often used to commit
other crimes. Don't become a victim of this serious crime.
THE BASIC PREVENTION POLICY
Never leave your
car running or the keys in the ignition when you're away from it,
even for "just a minute."
Always roll up
the windows and lock the car, even if it's in front of your home.
valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in
the trunk or at least out of sight. Buy radios, tape and CD players
that can be removed and locked in the trunk.
Park in busy,
registration and insurance card with you. Don't leave personal
identification documents or credit cards in your vehicle.
When you pay to
park in a lot or garage, leave just the ignition key with the
attendant. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the
same when you take your car for repairs.
ADD EXTRA PROTECTION
Etch the Vehicle
Identification Number (VIN) on the windows, doors, fenders, and
trunk lid. This helps discourage professional thieves who have to
either remove or replace etched parts before selling the car. Copy
the VIN and your tag number on a card and keep it in a safe place.
If your vehicle is stolen, the police need this information.
mechanical locking device -- commonly called clubs, collars, or
j-bars -- that locks to the steering wheel, column, or brake to
prevent the wheel from being turned more than a few degrees. Use
security systems if you live in a high-theft area or drive an
automobile that's an attractive target for thieves. You may get a
discount on your auto insurance.
Look into CAT
(Combat Auto Theft) and HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) partnership
programs where individuals voluntarily register their cars with the
police, and allow the police to stop the car during certain hours
when they normally would not be driving (such as midnight to 5
a.m.). All participants display decals in a designated area on
WHAT ABOUT CARJACKING?
stealing a car by force – has captured headlines in the last few
years. Statistically, your chances of being a carjacking victim are
very slim, and preventive actions can reduce the risk even more.
Approach your car
with the key in hand. Look around and inside before getting in.
keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.
alert at intersections, gas stations, ATMs, shopping malls,
convenience and grocery stores -- all are windows of opportunity for
well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways, stores,
If the carjacker
has a weapon, give up the car with no questions asked. Your life is
worth more than a car.
BEWARE OF THE "BUMP AND ROB"
It works like
this. A car, usually with a driver and at least one passenger,
rear-ends or "bumps" you in traffic. You get out to check the
damage. The driver or one of the passengers jumps in your car and
If you're bumped by
another car, look around before you get out. Make sure there are
other cars around, check out the car that's rear-ended you and who's
in it. If the situation makes you uneasy, stay in the car and insist
on moving to a police station or busy, well-lighted area to exchange
BE ON THE LOOKOUT
If your car's
stolen, report it to the police immediately. Also, report abandoned
cars to the local agency that handles their removal.
When buying a
used car from an individual or a dealer, make sure you have the
proper titles, that the VIN number is intact, and the "federal
sticker" is on the inside of the driver's door. That sticker should
match the VIN.
Suggest that any
dealer, rental car agency, or auto repair shop you use offer auto
theft prevention information in the waiting rooms.
If joyriding is a
problem in your community, work to improve recreational programs and
job opportunities for young people.
If you have any
questions, please contact Deputy Shawn Brownell at (818) 878-1808