The Lake County Sheriff’s Office urges the community to follow basic crime prevention steps to avoid becoming the victim of having a vehicle stolen.
This year over 60 reports have been made within the jurisdiction of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office of someone having their vehicle stolen (this figure does not include vehicle theft reports taken by municipal police departments). In the vast majority of these incidents the vehicle was either left unoccupied while running in a driveway, a parking lot, on the street, or the vehicle was parked, but a spare key or spare key fob was left inside the vehicle. Thieves rarely ‘hotwire’ vehicles anymore.
Vehicle thieves have been particularly active in the predawn hours, when car owners are warming their vehicle before they leave for work or school. During these times, vehicle thieves will cruise through neighborhoods looking for vehicles warming in driveways.
When a vehicle is left running or keys/key fobs are left inside the vehicle, a thief can steal it in seconds. Often times if the stolen vehicle is located by law-enforcement, the thief flees from law-enforcement in the stolen car.
Some basic tips can help reduce the chance of becoming a victim:
• Don’t leave cars running while unoccupied – even with the doors locked
• Don’t leave spare keys or key fobs in the vehicle
• Always keep your vehicle locked
• Remove valuables from your vehicle
• Keep residential exterior lighting on during the overnight hours
• Consider residential video surveillance
• Always call 911 if you see suspicious activity