Every day in the District of Columbia, about 18 vehicles are stolen. These stolen vans, cars, motorcycles and trucks cost victims time AND money, as well as increase everyone’s insurance premiums. Often, stolen vehicles are used to commit other crimes.
You can save you and your family a lot of frustration, stress, and interruption to your daily life by taking some simple precautions to reduce the risk of having your vehicle become a target. Following are some steps you can take to make your car — and the valuables it may contain — less attractive to thieves.
An unlocked vehicle with a key in the ignition is an open invitation to any thief, regardless of any anti-theft device you may use. The common-sense approach to protection is the simplest and most cost-effective way to avoid would-be thieves.
You should always secure your vehicle, even if you’re parking for “just a minute.” Do this by:
Removing your keys from the ignition.
Locking all of your doors.
Closing all of your windows.
Parking in a well-lit area.
Never leaving your engine running and vehicle unlocked while you run into your home, a convenience store or anywhere else
A visible or audible device alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:
1. Audible alarms are typically equipped with motion or impact sensors that trigger a 120-decibel siren. The alarm should have an automatic shut-off capability.
2. Steering wheel locks prevent the steering wheel from turning.
3. Steering column collars prevent thieves from hot-wiring the vehicle. Some collars are installed permanently; others must be continuously activated.
4. Theft deterrent decals visually warn thieves the vehicle is protected by an alarm or other anti-theft device
5. Tire locks similar to the circular steel boots used by many police departments, prevent the vehicle from being driven.
6. Window etching. If the vehicle identification number (VIN) is etched onto the vehicle’s windows, it makes it difficult for thieves to resell the vehicle or its parts.
Captain, Fourth District
Patrol Services North
Badge No. C103
Metropolitan Police Department
6001 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20011
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