You Can Prevent Car Theft
Though professional car thieves have entered the field in increasing numbers, most vehicle thefts are committed by amateurs who can be stopped fairly easily. You can greatly increase your protection against this type of crime by taking the following sensible precautions.
Lock Up Tight
- An unlocked vehicle is an open invitation to a car thief. Whenever you leave your vehicle - lock up tight – and take the keys with you.
- If your vehicle is equipped to do so, lock the trunk and/or the tailgate.
- Close all windows!! Though it is hot here in our desert community, professional car thieves have specialized tools that allow them to unlock a vehicle taking advantage of a very minimum amount of open space. Be sure vent or “wind-wing” style windows are shut tight. These are favorite points of entry for car thieves.
- Avoid leaving your vehicle unattended in public parking lots for an extended period of time. Crime statistics tell us that a vehicle is five times more likely to be stolen when left unattended in a public parking lot than when parked on the street or in a parking lot with an attendant on duty.
- If possible, park your vehicle in a lot where you don’t have to leave your keys. If you do have to leave your keys with a parking attendant, only leave the ignition key. Never attach a tag with your name and address to your key ring. If your keys were lost or stolen, the tag could lead a thief directly to your vehicle and/or your home.
- When parking on the street, turn the wheels of your vehicle sharply toward the curb to make it extra difficult for a vehicle thief to move or tow your vehicle.
- When parking at night, park in well-lighted areas with pedestrian traffic.
If you have any further questions regarding Vehicle Security, please contact the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at (760) 836-1600.
Vehicle Burglary Prevention
One of the most common crimes is vehicle burglary. Listed below are some suggestions for the citizens of our community to use in an effort to reduce the occurrence of this crime.
Always lock your vehicle and take the keys, no matter where you are parking. Even in your driveway and garage. Lock your trunk and tailgate; close all the windows, even the smallest opening can provide access. Lock your vehicle at quick stops like the gas station, convenience store or ATM machine. Never attach a tag with your name and address to your key ring. Replace T-shaped door lock knobs with straight door lock knobs.
Park your vehicle in the garage if you have one. If not, park your car where you can see it from a window. Park in well-lighted areas where there is pedestrian traffic.
Clean It Out
Do not leave anything in your vehicle. This includes CD’s, change, clothes, computers, purses, wallets, briefcases, credit cards, cell phones, garage door openers or anything else a thief might want. If you add an after-market stereo system, try a “pull out” model or one with a removable face plate. Use caution when storing items in the trunk; someone could be watching you. When possible, place items in the trunk before you arrive at your destination. The vehicle code requires you to keep your vehicle registration in your car but it does not require you to keep it in the glove box. Find an unusual place to store your vehicle registration as well as your proof of insurance documentation.
Use an engraver to etch your California Driver’s License Number on stereos and other valuable items. Record your vehicle identification number (VIN) and keep it in a safe place. Engrave your VIN number on different vehicle parts to prevent theft.
Report Suspicious Activity
Be alert to suspicious persons loitering in your neighborhood, especially if your see them “casually” looking into vehicle windows. Be alert to the sounds you hear. Most vehicle burglars steal things by breaking a car window. Report any suspicious activity by calling the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Non-Emergency Dispatcher: (760) 836-3215 Option #5.
If you have further questions regarding Vehicle Burglary Prevention, please call the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at (760) 836-1600.