Lock your carDon't Make it Easy for a Thief to Steal your Wheels

  One vehicle is stolen every 21 seconds in the United States. Stolen cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles cost victims time and money-and increase everyone's insurance premiums. They are also often used to commit other crimes. Don't become a victim of this crime.


  • Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you are away from it, even "just for a minute."

  • Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it is in front of the home.

  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight. Buy radios, tape and CD players that can be removed and locked in the trunk.

  • Park in busy, well lighted areas.

  • When you pay to park in a lot or garage, leave just the ignition key with the attendant. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the same when you take your car in for repairs.


  • ETCH the vehicle identification number on the windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This helps discourage professional thief's who have to either remove or replace etched parts before selling the car.  

  • Install a mechanical locking device-commonly called clubs, collars, or j-bars that lock the steering wheel, column, or brake to prevent the wheel from being moved more than a few degrees.


    Carjacking-stealing a car by force-has captured headlines in the last few years. Statistically your chances of being a carjacking victim are very slim, and preventive actions can reduce the risk even more.

  • Approach your car with the key in hand. Look around and inside before getting in.

  • When driving, keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.

  • Be especially alert at intersections, gas stations, ATMs, shopping malls, convince stores and grocery stores-all are windows of opportunity for car jackers.

  • Park in well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways, stores and people.

  • If the carjacker has a weapon, give up the car with no questions asked. Your life is worth more than your car. 


  It works like this. A car thief usually with a driver and at least one passenger, rear ends or "bumps" you in traffic. You get out to check the damage. The driver or one of the passengers jumps in your car and drives off.

  If you're bumped by another car, look around before you get out. Make sure there are other cars around, check out the car that's rear ended you and who's in it. If the situation makes you uneasy, stay in the car and insist on moving to a police station or busy, well lighted area to exchange information.

Information provided by the National Crime Prevention Council

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