The Dallas Police Department’s Auto Theft Unit is seeing arise in the number of vehicles being stolen while left running to “warm up”. We can all appreciate the comforts of getting into a warm vehicle when temperatures outside are seasonably uncomfortable, but you increase the likely hood that your vehicle could be easily stolen by a passerby.
It is also a violation of Dallas City Code 28-76.5 to leave car keys in an unattended vehicle. In either case, it’s a cost that no one wants to pay and can be easily avoided.
As a reminder, property crimes, which includes auto theft and burglary of a motor vehicle (BMV), are the driving force behind our crime rate. However, we can beat this type of crime together if a few precautionary measures are taken. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the Dallas Police Department recommends the following tips to prevent citizens from becoming victims of auto theft and break-ins.
- Never leave your vehicle unattended with keys in the ignition
- Lock your doors and keep the windows closed, even when parked in front of your home
- Park in busy and well-lit areas
- Do not leave in plain view valuables such as GPS, GPS holder, cell phone, iPads, etc.
- Equip your vehicle with an alarm or other anti-theft devices
- Never leave your vehicle registration or other personal documents in your vehicle
Following these safety tips should help prevent you from becoming a victim of auto theft and/or break-ins. But if you do become a victim of auto theft, report it immediately. Provide local authorities with the make/model/license plate and vehicle ID number (VIN). A good idea is to keep a photo of your vehicle with the license plate number on your smartphone so that you can show officers. This will help get your vehicle information into the National Database faster.