Safety alert on auto theft

Published on April 19, 2023

thief breaking into car

Owners of recent model Kias and Hyundais have been victims of a viral trend that enables thieves to start and steal the vehicles with little effort. While the manufacturers are rolling out fixes now, no vehicle is immune to theft. 

The most stolen vehicles in America over the past year are Ford F-Series trucks, followed closely by Honda Accords (especially the 2000 model) and Chevrolet trucks. 

The City of Lakewood is paying for extra Deputy Sheriff and security guard patrols to deter auto thefts and thefts from vehicles, but they of course can’t be everywhere at once. So the city’s public safety experts recommend that residents also do all they can to protect their vehicles by practicing some of the tips below..

Tips to protect your vehicles

  • Park in well-lit areas when possible.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle. Loose change and phone chargers are enough for a thief to consider breaking into your vehicle. Thieves especially love tools or work equipment left inside trucks.
  • Consider a highly visible “immobilizer device” like a steering wheel club or electronic immobilizer. When thieves see that in a car, it presents a time-consuming, technical obstacle, and they may move on.
  • Make sure every door is locked, every window is rolled up, and the alarm is set before you walk away. Check your sunroof and lock your tailgate.
  • If you own a Kia or Hyundai, be sure to contact your dealer for the information on getting the available software update for your model.
  • Protect your catalytic converter. Etch your VIN on your catalytic converter or get a cage-device to protect your catalytic converter.
If you see anything suspicious in your neighborhood call the Lakewood Sheriff's Station to report the activity at 562-623-3500. If you see a crime in progress, always call 9-1-1.
Please share this information with your family, friends and neighbors. It will take everyone looking out for one another to prevent crimes of opportunities from happening on our streets. If you notice a neighbor has left their vehicle unlocked or their windows rolled down, help them out by letting them know. You could be preventing them from experiencing an unfortunate situation, just by being a good neighbor and friend.


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