TIP: Auto Theft Prevention

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.

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.

Jeff Jordan

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