Auto Theft Prevention
Securing Your Vehicle
- Lock your car. Take your keys.
- Never hide a spare key on the vehicle.
- Roll up windows completely.
- Remove keys from ignition.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- When parking in attended lots or parking garages, leave only the ignition key with the attendant.
- Park as close as possible to an open business.
- Do not leave valuables in sight to tempt a thief.
- Always park with the wheels turned toward the curb.
- Back your car into the driveway. If you drive forward into the driveway, a car thief could raise the hood to hot wire the car, and it would appear to the neighbors that you were just working on the car.
- If you have a garage, use it.
- Lock your garage door.
- When going out of town, if possible, remove the distributor cap or the coil wire.
- Never leave your car running while it is unattended.
IF YOUR CAR IS STOLEN...
Call police in order for the information to be taken.
Vehicle theft should be reported as soon as possible. However, before the vehicle can be listed as stolen, you must have your vehicle's license number and/or the vehicle identification number (sometimes called VIN).
By making a report the needed information about your vehicle can be directly entered into the State computer system. This enables officers to immediately identify your vehicle as being stolen.
Stolen vehicles are sometimes used in the commission of other crimes. Quick action often results in recovery of your vehicle as well as prevention of another crime.
If the criminal is apprehended, be willing to file charges.
Testify in court.
If you recover your own vehicle, do not touch or move your vehicle in order to preserve possible evidence. Call 911 immediately to report the recovery. If you do not follow these steps, your car will continue to be listed as stolen.
IDENTIFYING YOUR CAR
Etch Vehicle Identification Numbers on window glass trim.
Engrave expensive accessories such as T-tops, radios, etc. with car's Vehicle Identification Number.
Drop a business card into the door frame.
If possible, retain copies of all vehicle paperwork at home in a safe place.
It is not good practice to keep the original certificate of title in the vehicle. If the car is stolen, this title can be altered easily and/or your signature can be forged.
WHEN SELLING AND BUYING A CAR
- Be cautious of the low priced bargain car.
- Beware of fast sell pressures.
- Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if it has been altered.
- Be suspicious of fresh paint on a car.
- Verify that the inspection sticker and the license tag are current and are from the same state.
- Do not accept duplicate car keys.
- Complete all paper work at the time of the sale.
- If you are selling a car, never allow a person to test drive the vehicle alone.
- Ask to see an interested buyer's drivers license, and write down the name, address, driver's license number, etc.
- Make certain the driver's door contains a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Label. This label is often called a mylar sticker, and it contains the Vehicle Identification Number. Presence of the label is required by law.
ANTI THEFT DEVICES
They stop the amateur and slow down the professional.
Anti-theft devices are not foolproof, but they can stop the amateur and slow down the professional. The longer it takes to steal a car, the more attention the thief attracts, and the more likely the thief will look elsewhere. Anti-theft devices include those listed below.
- Kill Switch: The car will not start unless a hidden switch is activated. The switch prevents electrical current from reaching the coil or carburetor. Please check your warranty before installing one of these switches. Some warranties prohibit installation of these devices, and doing so nullify the warranty. In such cases, there is a possibility that a STARTER BYPASS SWITCH could be used without affecting the warranty.
- Alarm Systems: These systems contain a device that will activate a siren, lights, or horn if the car is tampered with. Consider a backup power source for the alarm, as professionals could deactivate the alarm if they get to the power source. Keys or code numbers to the alarm should never be given to parking lot attendants or valets. (Do not try to fool a thief with an alarm decal when no alarm exists.)
- Fuel Switch: This device stops the fuel supply.
- Armored Collar: This equipment consists of a metal shield that locks around the steering column and covers the ignition, the starter rods, and the steering wheel interlock rod.
- Locking Gas Cap
- Crook Lock: This lock is a long metal bar that has a hook on each end to lock the steering wheel to the brake pedal.
- Chain and Lock: These devices should be used to secure motorcycles and motor scooters.
- Keyless Entry System
Anti-theft devices may cost a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Many of those devices are now standard or optional equipment offered by auto manufacturers.