Auto-Theft Crime Prevention Tips — Don't Be Fooled

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The Auto Theft Unit has seen a recent increase in unsuspecting buyers purchasing cars which turn out to be stolen.

VINCHECK Click here to check the status of a car by VIN number

Most of these transactions are done in cash

We suggest that you:

  • Ask for and verify the name and address of the seller.
  • If possible, make your payment by check or money order so that there is some tracking method of the seller.
  • Make sure you receive the original certificate of ownership to any vehicle you purchase. (Not a copy).
  • Make sure the License plates and Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) match those on the certificate of ownership.
  • Make sure the car keys match the make of the car sold to you.



Each year with the approach of cooler weather, the Auto Theft Unit sees a seasonal increase in the theft of vehicles from owners who leave their cars running to warm them up or defrost the windows. 

Don’t leave valuables or your identity in your car.  Don’t leave your car unattended and running.  If you think warming up your car and locking it is a good idea.  Think again.  The thieves could care less if they are driving your car with a broken window.


OUR MISSION: Create safe places to live, work, and learn through community partnerships. The Department maintains
a commitment to the following values: Integrity, Courage, Excellence, Service, Diversity, Innovation, and Respect.