Police tips to prevent car theft, break-ins | Crime
It may seem like common sense, but one of the best ways to ensure your car doesn't get stolen or broken into is simple: Keep it locked at all times. According to Birmingham police, a large number of vehicle thefts happen when citizens leave their vehicles unlocked with the keys still inside.
"With the extremely cold temperatures, we have had a number of vehicle thefts as a result of citizens allowing vehicles to run in an effort to warm the car while the vehicle is unattended," Sergeant Johnny Williams with the BPD said.
"In a large number of cases, citizens leave their keys in their vehicle as they go into a convenience store to make a purchase or pay for gas. Remember, 'This is not Mayberry!'" Williams urged. "The public has been a huge factor in helping combat crime in the community. We want to continue the partnership in reducing crime and ensure everyone has a safe holiday season. If someone suspects that a vehicle break-in or theft is taking place, contact police immediately."
The Birmingham Police Department issued the following tips to preventing car break-ins and thefts:
- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended while in your home or in a store. This has become one of the most common forms of stolen vehicles.
- Park in a well lit area at night or when shopping.
- Equip your vehicle with an anti-theft device.
- Close all windows and lock all doors.
- Keep your tag number and vehicle identification number in your wallet.
- Don’t leave valuables in plain view.
- Don’t leave GPS mounts attached to windows.
- After shopping, don’t leave packaging of expensive gifts in the front of your residence for garbage pick-up. If possible, break down the packaging and place it in garbage bags or cans. You can also transport packaging to area land fields for disposal.