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Don’t Make Stealing Your Car Easy

Santa Cruz Auto Theft Reduction and Enforcement (SCARE) Team and Santa Cruz Area CHP offer tips to avoid becoming a vehicle theft victim.

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.

 

Watzon McWats November 20, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I always use a club on older cars just because they're so dang easy to steal. Course, that didn't help me many moons ago when a homeless guy on the west side somehow get a hold of my keys and took off with my car. When they found him he was joy riding around town drunk, wearin' my sweatshirt, and smoking the cigarettes someone had left in my glove box. 'Nother time someone jimmied my door open and stole a hoodie and a hat out of another car I had in La Selva. Then a year or so later someone stole the dang grill off that car while it was parked in my driveway. Had gas siphoned out of my tank in LSB too, lowlifes even took the dang gas cap! Got a locking cap after that.
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