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Posted on: August 10, 2018

Crime Prevention - Theft from Auto and Auto Theft

Theft From Auto

A message from the Bowie Police Department - August 10, 2018


There have been thirty-one (31) reported theft from auto crimes so far for the month & it's only August 10th. Over 90% were the result of unlocked vehicles. Watch here to see how thieves do it: http://bit.ly/2M91rNm 

Bowie Police Department kindly reminds you to lock your car doors and to remove or hide all valuables from your vehicles. This includes vehicles keys. Never leave vehicle keys stored inside your car. This includes spare keys, keys to other vehicles you own, and keys to your household. Consider removing or hiding garage door openers from your vehicle.  

We need your help to combat this crime of opportunity. Never give thieves a reason to enter your vehicle. Keep it secured, use a car alarm if you have one installed, and never leave valuables in plain sight. Several auto thefts reported this year have been the result of vehicle owners leaving car keys inside unlocked vehicles. Criminals will take any opportunity to steal your valuable property.  

Our Department is aware of recent theft from auto incidents involving rim/tire thefts. Unfortunately, this is a nation-wide crime trend that is not new or Bowie-specific. Popular car makes/models include Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, and Honda Accord as well as some truck (Ford F150) and SUV models (GMC Yukon). Some tips for preventing rim/tire theft are included below in order to make it more difficult for your vehicle to become a target:

  • Wheel Locks      
    The locks fit on each wheel and make the lug nuts extremely difficult to remove without a key. It’s important never to lose the key because you’ll need it if you ever get a flat tire. Did you know... lug nut locks may also be effective, but are incredibly easy to melt away with a blow torch. Wheel locks are a bit harder to remove, however.

  • Park close to the curb    
    Jacking up a car requires space; don't make it easy for thieves. Parking close to the curb puts thieves at a disadvantage for the space needed to get a wheel off your vehicle.

  • Turn your wheels
    This makes the wheels harder to remove since they get stuck in the wheel well. The car’s steering column lock makes it difficult for the thieves to turn the wheels forward again without a key in the ignition.

  • Talk with neighbors  
    Develop bonds with neighbors to increase the chance of someone seeing something suspicious. Too often we may notice something occurring to someone else, but since it's not happening to us, we don't bother reporting anything. If you see something, say something. Our communications center is open 24/7 and can be reached at 240-544-5700. If you think you witness a crime happening, call 911 immediately.  

  • Car alarms  
    Invest in a vehicle alarm, if you don't have one already. There are options for alarms with wheels sensors, which will sound should wheels be tampered with.

  • Park in high traffic areas  
    If your vehicle is on a busy street, it is less likely to be a target. With more people around, thieves won't waste their time or risk being seen attempting to steal your wheels.

  • Home security cameras/motion sensor lights      
    Invest in a good home security camera package (plenty of affordable options are available) Consider motion sensing lights for your home, which is often enough to deter a thief.

    As always, continue to report not only emergencies (dial 9-1-1) but also suspicious activity (240-544-5700) If you see or even hear something, say something. Never make it easy for thieves, who will seek opportunities to steal valuables even in a great community such as Bowie.  

    **Cited from cars.com and thespruce.com 

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