Albemarle County Police offer tips on how to prevent vehicle break-ins
Police departments are seeing an uptick in reports of vehicles being broken into, as well as the theft of motor vehicles and catalytic converters.
Albemarle County Police encourage you to take a few moments to read through these tips to protect your home and valuables and to limit crimes of opportunity on your property. Remember, the quickest and easiest way to deter a thief is to lock your doors.
Protect your valuables
- Do not leave the key in your vehicle.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
- Park in well-lit areas if possible.
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle.
- Follow the 9 p.m. Routine by closing and locking up your home.
- When parking in public spaces, park where there are a lot of people around.
- If you are able, install a security camera system near your garage or where you park.
Catalytic converter theft prevention
- Park in a way that makes it difficult to access and remove the catalytic converter.
- Paint your catalytic converter.
- Consider engraving your VIN number onto your catalytic converter for easier identification if it’s stolen.
- Avoid parking in one location for an extended period of time. If you are going out of town, have a trusted person check your car regularly during your absence
Consider antitheft systems
There are numerous antitheft systems and devices designed to make vehicles more difficult to steal or easier to trace and recover. Here are how some of them work:
- Audible and visible devices: These devices, such as a horn alarm, deter theft by bringing attention to an unauthorized attempt to steal or enter a vehicle. Visible devices create a visual threat/warning/deterrence, such as the use of steering-wheel locks, as well as theft-deterrent decals, flashing lights, and window etching.
- Immobilizing-type devices: These prevent thieves from bypassing a vehicle’s ignition system and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some incorporate computer chips in ignition keys or disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine.
- Vehicle recovery systems: These devices use electronic transmission technology that help law enforcement reveal the location of stolen vehicles—and possibly catch the thief in the act.