Safety alert on auto theft
Published on August 17, 2022
During the COVID pandemic, home burglaries have dropped nationwide as people are at home more. But unfortunately, there’s been a corresponding increase in auto thefts and break-ins, as criminals refocus their nefarious efforts.
The latest trend in vehicle thefts involve Kias (2011-21 models) and Hyundais (2015-21), which allow knowledgeable thieves to start the vehicles with little effort. Hyundai says it will have a fix available for owners by Oct. 1. Kia says it is working on a fix. In the meantime, see the tips below. It should be noted that no vehicle is immune to theft. In fact, the most stolen vehicle in America over the past year has been Chevrolet trucks, followed closely by Ford F-Series trucks.
The City of Lakewood is paying for extra Deputy Sheriff 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.
- Protect your catalytic converter. Etch your VIN on your catalytic converter or get a cage-device to protect your catalytic converter. The City of Lakewood is providing rebates to help. Details at www.lakewoodcity.org/CatConRebate.
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.