When Driving

  • Have your key ready when you approach your vehicle, and check to make sure no one is hiding inside.
  • Drive on well traveled streets and never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Keep your car in gear while it is stopped at an intersection.
  • Keep all doors and windows closed and locked.
  • Park in well-lighted, designated parking areas.
  • If you must carry valuables, keep them out of sight in your trunk.
  • Keep change hidden in your car for emergency telephone calls. Carry a cellular phone for emergencies. Keep an aerosol tire inflator in your car for emergencies.
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood, and then stay inside with the doors locked. If someone stops to help, do not open your window or door, or accept a ride. Ask them to call for assistance.
  • If you see a parked vehicle requiring assistance, do not stop. Go to a telephone and call for aid.
  • If you are deliberately forced to stop your vehicle, lock the doors, roll up the windows, and sound the horn for help. If you are followed or harassed by someone in another vehicle, drive to a police department, fire station, or open business and seek help. Do not drive into your driveway or park in a deserted area.
  • If you are followed as you turn into your driveway at night, stay in your car with the doors locked until you identify the occupants of the other car. Sound your horn to get the attention of your neighbors.

When parking, prevention of auto prowling

The following are recommendations that can reduce your risk of being a victim of a car prowl or theft.

  • When you exit or enter your parked vehicle, stop and take a look around the area.
  • Before leaving your parked car, always remove the keys, roll up the windows and lock the car.
  • At home make a habit of locking your garage door and car doors.
  • If your car is stored in a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior lights on throughout the night.
  • If you park on the street, choose a well-lit, open space even if it means adding additional street/yard lighting & trimming back trees/bushes that block your view of your vehicle.
  • If possible have a car alarm installed on your vehicle.

Prevention of auto theft

Auto Theft Facts

  • More than two-thirds of all auto theft occur at night
  • Over 8,000 vehicle were stolen in the city of Seattle in 2002
  • Approximately 86% of the stolen vehicles were recovered
  • Average loss of missing parts on recovered vehicles is $5800.00
  • It can take an expert auto thief as little as seven seconds and one screw driver to break into a vehicle and less than one minute to drive away.

What Attracts a Car Thief?

  • Leaving your car unlocked or the windows open
  • Leaving the keys in your car or a spare key hidden in the car
  • Leaving your car unattended
  • Parking in poorly lit places with low visibility
  • Leaving valuables and packages in your car
  • Cars not protected with anti-theft devices

What Else Can I do to protect my Vehicle?

  • Protect your vehicle with an anti-theft device
  • If you have a garage use it to store your vehicle
  • Immediately report any suspicious activity (for a non emergency contact Public Safety at X 5911).