How to prevent auto theft

Don’t make your car an easy target for a thief. It takes only seconds to steal a car. Give a thief an inch and he will take your car for miles. Here are some tips to make it harder for the thieves.

* Always lock your car, close the windows and take the keys. A recent Gallop poll found 31% of us don’t always lock our car doors, 12% leave a window cracked open, usually for ventilation and 14% of us don’t always remove our keys.

* If at all possible, invest in an alarm system or theft deterrent device.

* Never leave valuables in sight. Thieves are attracted not only by your car but also its contents. They will often smash a window just to steal a car phone, camera or stereo.

* Never leave your car running and unoccupied, even for just a minute. It takes no time to get in and drive away.

* Turn your wheels toward the curb and apply the emergency brake. This makes your car more difficult to tow.

* Park in well lighted areas. The light will help make a thief more noticeable.

* Have your vehicle identification number etched on the car windows. Drop a business card into your door panels. This may make your car more easily identifiable to law enforcement.

* Use a high visibility theft deterrent such as a steering wheel lock or security alarm.


Never Forget

On average it takes less than 30 seconds to steal a car. One vehicle is stolen every 20 seconds in the United States. The annual monetary loss due to vehicle related crime is over $7.6 billion per year. Stolen cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles cost time and money and increase everyone’s insurance premiums. Take these simple precautions; invest in an alarm system or theft deterrent device. These steps taken now can save you a big hassle later.

For further information on this or others safety topics please contact the University of Florida Police Department’s Community Services Division at 392-1409.