Vehicle Theft Prevention

Lock it or lose it

Securing Your Vehicle - Be Alert!

  • Lock your car! Take your keys with you.
  • Never hide a spare key on the vehicle.
  • Roll up windows completely.
  • Remove keys from the ignition.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • When parking in attended lots or parking garages, leave only the ignition key with the attendant.
  • Park as close as possible to an open business.
  • Do not leave valuables in sight to tempt a thief. Most auto burglaries are caused by cellular phones, laptops, or other valuables left in plain sight.
  • Always park with the wheels turned toward the curb.
  • Back your car into the driveway. If you drive forward into the driveway, a car thief could raise the hood to hot wire the car, and it would appear to the neighbors that you were just working on the car.
  • If you have a garage, use it.
  • Lock your garage door.
  • Never leave your car running while it is unattended.

If Your Car Is Stolen...

Call the Sheriff's Office. Vehicle theft should be reported as soon as possible. However, before the vehicle can be listed as stolen, you must have your vehicle's license number and/or vehicle identification number (also called the VIN number).

Stolen vehicles are sometimes used in the commission of other crimes. Quick action often results in the recovery of your vehicle as well as the prevention of another crime.

If you recover your own vehicle, you must not touch or move your vehicle in order to preserve possible evidence. You should call 911 immediately to report the recovery. If you do not follow these steps, your car will continue to be listed as stolen and you may be pulled over because the deputies or police officers will assume you are the car thief!

When Selling & Buying a Car

  • Be cautious of the low-priced bargain car.
  • Beware of fast sell pressures.
  • Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if it has been altered.
  • Be suspicious of fresh paint on a car.
  • Verify that the registration sticker and the license tag are current and are from the same state.
  • Do not accept duplicate car keys.
  • Complete all paperwork at the time of the sale.
  • If you are selling a car, never allow a person to test drive the vehicle alone.
  • Ask to see an interested buyer's driver's license, and write down the name, address, driver's license number, etc.
  • Make certain the driver's door contains a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Label. This label is often called a Mylar sticker, and it contains the Vehicle Identification Number. The presence of the label is required by law.