Warm weather in summer months can lead to carelessness among car owners, providing thieves with easy access to personal property and vehicles. According to the 2006 FBI Uniform Crime Report, motor vehicle theft is consistently highest in July and August. For this reason, we've listed some of the best tips for keeping your car and belongings safe during this summer's hot, humid weather - as advised by HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts.)
“As warm weather sets in, people tend to relax their guard by leaving car tops and windows down when they leave their vehicles,” said Terri Miller, director of H.E.A.T.“This makes it easy for thieves to steal exposed property like purses, laptops and cell phones – not to mention the vehicle itself.”
“Always keep a watchful eye on your property, especially in the summer,” said Lt. John Michalke of the Macomb Auto Theft Squad. “Just as you lock your front door before leaving your house, be sure to secure all car doors before stepping away from your vehicle, even when running a quick errand.”
Closed Not Cracked – Close windows tightly, don’t even leave them “cracked” and always lock your car when your vehicle is unattended.
Out of Sight – Keep all personal belongings; including iPods, cell phones and other valuables out of sight.
Lock Your Top – Close and lock convertible car tops.
Kill-Switch – Protect your vehicle from being started by a thief by having a mechanic install a concealed kill-switch.
Double Duty – Add a second layer of protection to your vehicle by using a steering wheel locking device, a steering column protector or an alarm with a visible flasher.
VIN – Consider etching your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) onto the glass surfaces of your vehicle. VIN etching makes vehicles less attractive to thieves because all windows must be replaced before the car is tagged with a fake VIN for resale.
1-800-242-H.E.A.T. – If you know anything about auto theft, report it to your local police department and H.E.A.T.’s confidential tip-reward line, 1-800-242-H.E.A.T.