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Auto Theft Prevention Tips

1. Lock your car doors and close your windows.

2. Don't leave valuables in your car. If you do, make sure they are kept out of plain sight -- hide them under a blanket, or better yet, lock them in your trunk.

3. When transporting valuables, place them in the trunk before you get to the location where you intend to park. Don't transfer them at the parking place in open view of other people.

4. If you have a garage, use it.

5. Don't leave your garage door opener on the dashboard or front seat. Put it in your glove box, hide it or take it with you.

6. Always park in a well-lighted area.

7. Use slide or portable mounts on add-on radios, citizens' band radios (CBs), tape decks and telephones. When you leave your car, put them in the trunk or take them with you.

8. Mark radios, CBs, tape decks, telephones, batteries, wheel covers and tires with an Operation Identification number. If the stolen item is found later, the number can be traced back to you. To enroll in Operation ID, contact Community Crime Prevention/SAFE at 673-3204.

9. Remember: briefcases, sunglasses, clothing, keys, gyms bags and small change are all tempting to a thief.

10. Leave only the ignition key with the parking attendant in a commercial parking lot.

11. Keep your driver's license and vehicle registration with you. Left with the car, the documents can be used by a thief to impersonate you when transferring the car's ownership.

12. Car keys left at home (or at your business) should always be hidden. This will help prevent the theft of your vehicle if you are burglarized.

13. There are locks made for various marketable parts of cars. Battery locks, wheel locks and special tape deck lock mounts can save these items plus any damage that may occur in the process of stealing them.

14. Install a locking gas tank cap to help prevent gasoline theft and limit a thief's driving range to one tank.

15. Park the front wheel turned sharply to the right or left, making it difficult for the professional thief to tow your car away backwards.

16. With front wheel drive cars: When you park, pull on the emergency brake and place your vehicle in Park. If you have a stick shift, pull on the emergency brake and shift into forward or reverse gear. All four wheels will be locked, making it difficult for a thief to tow your car.

17. Call 911 as soon as theft occurs.


Convenience Device

Credit Card Key: This is a special plastic card that holds two keys (also plastic) which you can have cut to fit your door and ignition system. Carry it with you in case you lose your regular set of keys. Available at any lock and key shop.