Keep Your Car From Being Burglarized or Stolen

(LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2009)Seventeen vehicles in Costa Mesa were burglarized in a single evening in late January and numerous vehicles in Laguna Beach were also hit when thieves smashed car windows. In Los Angeles, a young couple’s car and iPod were stolen while the couple was in a local hospital maternity ward having a baby. Thieves are targeting in-car entertainment and GPS navigation systems, iPods, and briefcases and gym bags that may contain valuables, according to police reports.

Several older sedan models, including Toyota Camrys, Honda Accords, and Civics, in addition to Chevrolet trucks, and SUVs are targets for car thieves for small electronics, personal items and information, car parts, and wheels and rims, according to Womble.

The Automobile Club of Southern California recommends Southland drivers lock up their vehicles as well as their valuables to keep their car from being broken into or even stolen. “Simple precautions can keep electronics as well as vehicles from being taken,” said David Womble, one of the Auto Club’s group managers for claims.

The Auto Club’s top tips to help prevent vehicle burglary and vehicle theft are:
  • Always lock your vehicle with the windows closed. Never leave valuables inside the car, especially not in clear view, including small electronics, wallets, check books, credit cards, personal paperwork or any personal identification.
  • Bring your electronics and personal items into your home or office with you whenever possible.
  • Use anti-theft or automatic tracking devices. If your vehicle wasn’t equipped with an alarm or hidden tracking device when purchased, have one installed.
  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle, even at a gas station.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lighted area at night. Don’t leave your vehicle in a high-crime area.
  • Never hide a spare ignition key in your vehicle. Remove keys from under floor mats, sun visor, etc.
  • Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a secure garage.
  • Never leave the vehicle running at any time when you’re not in it. This includes your driveway, while picking up friends, or while at a gas station, grocery store, or shopping mall.