Auto Theft

Most vehicle break-ins are crimes of opportunity because vehicles are left unlocked and items of value are left visible inside.

It is a common practice for thieves to walk neighborhood streets late at night checking doors of vehicles to see if they are unlocked. Once they find a vehicle that is unlocked, it is only a matter of seconds before valuables are taken, or the vehicle itself is stolen.

Many vehicles are a target for criminals when selecting a vehicle to burglarize or steal, such as:

  • Older vehicles such as Hondas, Toyotas and GM and Chevy trucks, which are usually easier to break into and often do not have an alarm system installed.
  • 'Work truck' vehicles and vans are favorites of thieves looking to steal tools and equipment.
  • SUVs are a target for thefts of third-row backseats and catalytic converters.
  • Trucks are targets for their tailgates.

How to harden your vehicle against theft

  • Make sure every door is locked, every window is rolled up, and the alarm is set before you walk away. Take extra care to check your sunroof and tailgate. If your older car does not have an alarm, the Lakewood Sheriff's Station recommends using a Club.
  • Never leave your key inside the vehicle, even if it is not in plain sight.
  • Never leave your vehicle running or unattended.
  • Park in well-lit areas with good visibility when possible.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle. Loose change and phone chargers are enough for a thief to consider breaking into your vehicle.

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 burglary in progress, always call 9-1-1.