By Sarah Jackson, California Highway Patrol officer
With temperatures falling, many Santa Cruz County residents choose to warm up their vehicles during early morning hours. This provides would-be thieves with an easy opportunity to take your vehicle. Do not leave your vehicle unattended while it is unlocked, especially not with the keys inside.
- Lock your vehicle if it will be parked, especially overnight.
- Do not leave keys inside the vehicle.
- Keep your spare keys in a safe location.
- Do not store valuables or personal information (mail containing account numbers, credit cards, ID, checkbooks, etc) in your vehicle. Should your vehicle be stolen, you certainly wouldn’t want the additional problem of identity theft.
- If your vehicle is not equipped with an alarm, use another anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock, gas cap lock, or other stolen vehicle recovery system such as Lo-Jack. If you have these devices, be sure to use them consistently.
- Try to park your vehicle in a secure location if possible. Well-lit and/or gated parking facilities make vehicle theft more difficult.
CHP reminds the public to report suspected vehicle theft to their local CHP Office. Assisting your local law enforcement agencies by reporting crime helps us keep our community safer for everyone.