Due to a recent increase in vehicle burglaries and vehicle thefts, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Unit would like to remind all citizens of basic tips on how not to become a victim of these crimes.
When Entering Your Vehicle and Driving:
- Have your key ready to enter the vehicle, and check around and inside before getting in. Drive with doors locked and windows up.
- When pulling up behind a vehicle, leave enough space in front of you for an emergency exit.
- Be aware of foot traffic near curbside lanes, and drive in the center lane if uncomfortable.
When Parking Your Vehicle and Exiting:
- Turn off the ignition and TAKE the keys with you.
- Park in a well-lit, attended lot or area if possible.
- If lot or area is attended, leave attendant only the ignition/door key.
- Do not leave valuables in distinct view.
- Completely close doors and windows.
- Turn your wheels to the side to make it harder to tow.
- Be cautious of surrounding obstructions and natural barriers that may be concealing a thief.
- LOCK YOUR CAR AND TAKE THE KEYS – ALWAYS!
When at home:
- If you have a garage, use it and lock it.
- If you have a rear-wheel drive car, back into driveway.
- If you have a front-wheel drive car, park front end first.
- Always set the emergency brake.
- Don’t leave the registration or title in the vehicle.
- Drop business cards or address labels inside doors to assist with vehicle identification.
Invest in Vehicle Protection When Possible:
- Ignition Kill Switch – Toggle switch spliced into ignition that disables vehicle when “off.”
- Fuel Kill Switch – Switch spliced into fuel system wiring that halts fuel supply when “off.”
- Steering Wheel Lock – Prevents steering wheel from turning.
- Gearshift Lock – Locks gearshift in place, disables shifting transmission.
- Tire/Wheel Locks – Tool wraps around tire/wheel, immobilizes vehicle.
- Hood Locks – Prevents access to battery and other car components.
- Steering Column Collar – Protects entry to ignition through column.
- Electronic Alarms – Those with kill switches as well as audible noisemaker are most effective.
- Vehicle Tracking Systems – Transmitter in car enables police to track car electronically.
- VIN Etching – Stencil Vehicle Identification Number on windows – free at many police departments.