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Thefts from Autos

One of the most common types of theft is theft of valuables from your automobile. Theft from auto is strictly a crime of opportunity that can be prevented if you take away the opportunity. Thieves generally won’t waste their time breaking into autos that don’t have valuables in plain sight.

Recently, the Metropolitan Police Department has recorded an increase in thefts from autos, particularly in areas across DC known for their fashionable stores, popular restaurants and trendy bars. Cars parked near sporting venues when games or concerts are scheduled may also be targeted. If you plan on parking your car in a neighborhood that is known for its numerous visitors, remember thieves know these areas are popular, too. Be sure to either take valuable property with you or secure it properly. Please take the precautions listed below to help ensure your auto is not targeted by thieves:

Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight

The best way to prevent theft from your auto is to always keep valuables out of sight. Never leave cell phones, briefcases, suitcases, or electronic devices (cell phones, iPods, laptop computers, etc.) in your car in plain view. Take these items with you, or secure them—all the time, every time.

Secure Your GPS Device

While many GPS devices are mounted in the dashboard of the vehicle, the MPD encourages anyone who uses a portable GPS device to take it with you, along with any other items of value, when you park the car.

Use Your Trunk

If your car has a trunk, use it. Put valuables in there or in a locked glove compartment. Hiding items under seats is better than leaving them in plain view, but securing them inside the glove compartment or trunk is a far better deterrent.

Don't Tempt Thieves with New Purchases

During the holiday season especially, or any time you’re shopping, place packages in the trunk, not on the passenger seats or floors.

Remove Your Radio Faceplate

If you can unfasten your sound system and take it with you, or lock it in your trunk, do so. And don’t forget to do the same with your CDs and tapes.

Lock It Up

Also, keep your car doors and windows locked—all the time!

Remember: "Outta sight, outta mind"—if thieves can't see your valuables, they're less likely to waste their time targeting your auto. Take the time to secure your valuables; it makes a difference.