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LASD - Palmdale Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
Thursday November 16th, 2017 :: 10:00 a.m. PST


Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips

During the colder months, many vehicle thefts are attributed to vehicles left unattended and running in front of homes to warm up the interiors. All of us would like to have a comfortable vehicle interior before the day’s drive begins; but is the risk worth it? It takes only seconds for someone to drive away in your car after you have turned it on and left the doors unlocked for them.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) found that for the years 2013 through 2015, a total of 147,434 vehicles were reported stolen with the keys left in them—57,096 in 2015 alone. The debut of “smart keys” in 1997 and all of the improved anti-theft technology since is worthless if drivers continue to leave their keys in the car or leave their vehicles running and unattended.

Please help combat vehicle theft and do not leave your unattended vehicle running for ANY period of time. 

Preventing the “warm up” thefts alone will have a big impact on the number of vehicles stolen in our community. But why stop there? Why not make it as difficult as possible for a thief to steal your vehicle? 

To prevent vehicle thefts the NICB recommends “Layered Protection.” The more layers of protection on your vehicle, the more difficult it is to steal. 
The number of layers your vehicle needs varies based on your vehicle and your budget. Layer #1 is the minimum standard we should all adhere to. 

Layer #1 – Common Sense 
The common sense approach to protection is the simplest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. Secure your vehicle even if parking for brief periods. 

- Lock your car! 
- Take your keys/key fobs with you. 
- Never hide a spare key on the vehicle. 
- Roll up windows completely. 
- Park in well-lighted areas. 
- Park as close as possible to an open business. 
- Always park with the wheels turned toward the curb. 
- If you have a garage, use it. 
- Lock your garage door. 

- NEVER leave your car running while it is unattended. 

Layer #2 – Warning Device 
The second layer or protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. 

Popular second layer devices include: 
*Audible alarms 
*Steering column collars 
*Steering wheel/Brake pedal lock 
*Brake locks 
*Wheel locks 
*Tire locks/Tire deflators 
*Theft deterrent decals 
*Identification markers in or on the vehicle 
*Window etching 
*Micro Dot marking 

Layer #3 – Immobilizing Device 
The third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and “hot-wiring” the vehicle. 
Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. 

Popular third layer devices include: 
*Smart keys 
*Fuse cut-offs 
*Kill switches 
*Starter, ignition, and fuel disablers 
*Wireless ignition authentication 

Layer #4 – Tracking Device 
The final layer of protection is not a theft prevention layer, but will assist in recovery if the thief somehow finds a way through the first three layers of protection. 
A tracking device emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ technologies to allow remote monitoring and control of some vehicle features (door locks, hazard light activation, engine disable, etc). 
Many devices and services, both factory installed and after-market, are now available. 

- Call the Sheriff's Station as soon as possible. However, before the vehicle can be entered into the nationwide Stolen Vehicle System, you must have your vehicle's license number or the vehicle identification number (also called the VIN number). Easy ways to always have the number available is to write it on a small piece of paper and keep it in your wallet or keep a photo of the license plate on your cell phone. The VIN number is also typically printed on your auto insurance card. 

The 2016 Top 10 most stolen vehicles in California ( 
1.            1998 Honda Civic
2.            1996 Honda Accord
3.            2004 Chevrolet Full-Size Pickup
4.            1991 Toyota Camry
5.            2006 Ford Full-Size Pickup
6.            1994 Acura Integra
7.            2015 Toyota Corolla
8.            1999 Honda CR-V
9.            1997 Nissan Sentra
10.         2015 Nissan Altima

For more information on vehicle theft prevention, visit: 

NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 

NICB National Insurance Crime Bureau 

If you see any suspicious people or vehicles in your neighborhood, please contact the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at (661) 272-2400. 

By: Deputy Eric Caplinger
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Palmdale Sheriff’s Station
Twitter                 @PalmdaleSheriff

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LASD - Palmdale Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
750 E Ave Q
Palmdale, CA 93550

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 661-272-2400

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