June 27, 2006

Warm weather months tempt car thieves

Livonia, Michigan – Warm summer weather can lead to carelessness among car owners, providing thieves with easy access, according to Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.), Michigan’s statewide auto theft prevention program. According to the 2006 FBI Uniform Crime Report, motor vehicle theft is consistently highest in July and August.

“As warm weather sets in, people tend to relax their guard by leaving car tops and windows down when they leave their vehicles,” says Terri Miller, Director of H.E.A.T. “This makes it easy for thieves to steal exposed property like purses, laptops and cell phones, not to mention the vehicle itself.”

H.E.A.T. offers the following tips for warm-weather crime prevention:

  • Close windows tightly, don’t leave them “cracked”, and always lock the car when it’s unattended.

  • Keep all personal belongings out of sight, such as iPods, cell phones and other valuables.
  • Close and lock convertible car tops.
  • Protect your vehicle from being started by having a mechanic install a concealed kill-switch.
  • Add a second layer of protection by using a steering wheel locking device, steering column protector or alarm with visible flasher.
  • Consider etching your vehicle identification number (VIN) onto all of the vehicle’s glass. VIN etching makes vehicles less attractive to thieves, because all windows must be replaced before the car can be tagged with a fake VIN for resale.

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