SJPD Star

Crime Prevention Tips — Auto Theft

The Auto Theft Basics:

The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!

In the United States, a vehicle is stolen every 21 seconds.

Stolen cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles cost victims time and money — and increase everyone's insurance premiums. They're also used to commit other crimes.

Don't be a victim of this serious crime.

For additional crime prevention tips or to arrange for a crime prevention specialist to conduct a neighborhood association or group meeting contact the San Jose Police Crime Prevention Unit at: 408 277-4133.


 

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.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight.
  • Remove portable electronic devices such as smart phones and GPS navigation systems, including suction cup or bean bag type mounts. (Even the visible appearance of a suction cup ring on the glass windshield can be an enticement to a thief to break in and look for the GPS system.)
  • Park in busy, well-lighted area.
  • Carry the 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 or valet key with the attendant. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the same when you take your car for repairs.

Add Extra Protection:

  • Install a mechanical locking device — commonly called clubs, collars, or j-bars — that lock to the steering wheel, column, or brake to prevent the wheel from being turned more than a few degrees. Use it!
  • Investigate 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.

What About Carjacking:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Approach you car with the key in hand before getting in. Look around and inside before getting in.
  • When driving, keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.
  • Be especially alert at intersections, gas stations, ATM's, shopping malls, convenience and grocery stores — all are windows of opportunity for carjackers.
  • Park in well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways, stored, and people.
  • If the carjacker has a weapon, give up the car with no questions asked. your life is worth more than a car.

Car Burglaries

Tips on how to avoid car break-ins:

  •  Do not leave valuables in plain view:
    (GPS devices, lap tops, PDA’s, cell phones, MP3’s, wallets, purses)
  •  Do not leave windows or sunroof open.
  •  Do not leave doors unlocked.
  •  Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
  •  Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
  •  Do not leave out items with personal information.
  • Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
  • Slow Down and use common sense before you leave your car.

 

Some content in this page was compiled from materials provided by the National Crime Prevention Council


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