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Secure Your Vehicle

If you leave valuables in your vehicle, will they be there when you return?  If they can see it, they can steal it.  So, secure it!

Theft from auto can occur at any time, from any vehicle. Often, valuables left in a car are taken during the night, but daytime thefts can occur on busy streets, with nobody reporting any suspicious behavior.

What Property Is Stolen?

The following items, although not all-inclusive, should be taken into your home, or you risk them being taken by thieves: cellular phones, money, purse, wallet, briefcases, CDs, iPods, portable GPS systems, laptop computers and sports equipment.  Auto parts are also taken, including a vehicle’s license plate.

How?

Method of entry varies too. Unlocked cars with valuables in easy reach are as common as a window or door lock broken to gain entry.

Deterrents:

Vehicle Theft: Many auto parts stores sell steering wheel locks which are inexpensive; these are a major deterrent to vehicle theft.

For License Plate Theft: a unique screw, which requires a special tool to release the license plate, is available from auto parts stores. The cost can be as low as $4.

What you can do:

Lock doors and close windows completely.

Remove valuables from the vehicle or lock them in the trunk where they are out of sight.

Do not leave electronic devices or accessories visible.

Do not leave money in the car.

Park in your garage, if you have one, or in a well-lit area.

Install “tapered” door lock or an anti-theft device that has a visible indicator.

Aid to Recovery

Some valuables can’t be taken out of the vehicle, such as a stereo or speakers. When installing custom sound equipment, record the serial numbers and/or engrave your driver’s license on the items before installation. If stolen, those numbers could make a difference in locating and recovering the property, and prosecuting the thieves.

If you see suspicious activity, on the street or in a parking lot, call Takoma Park Police at 301-270-1100.

Crime Prevention & Safety Tips Sections