Vehicle Safety Tips

Vehicle Safety Tips

  • Park in open, well-lighted, and populated areas near your destination, preferably one in view of a security camera
  • Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters, and other objects that obstruct visibility and provide hiding places
  • Avoid parking near strangers loitering or sitting in vehicles
  • Park in lots or garages where you don’t have to leave your keys
  • Park in your garage, if you have one. Don’t leave your vehicle on the street, in an alley, or on your driveway. If you have to park on a street, avoid dark or isolated areas.
  • Turn off your engine, roll up all windows, lock all doors, and take your keys with you even if you are making a quick stop at a store or gas station, or even in your driveway.
  • Close all windows and lock the trunk and hood
  • Don’t leave spare keys in your vehicle. An experienced thief knows all the hiding places. Store spare keys in your wallet.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle in an unattended public lot for an extended period time.
  • If you have a vehicle alarm system, always activate the system when leaving the vehicle.
  • Check your vehicle if you hear the alarm sound. But don’t try to stop a person attempting to break in. Get a good description of the person and call 911.
  • When you lock your vehicle with a Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) fob make sure that all the doors are locked before leaving your vehicle, especially in public parking lots. There has been an increase in the use of jammers to prevent the RKE signal from activating the door locks.
  • Turn your wheels sharply toward the curb when parking on a street
  • Use anti-theft devices that can be attached to the steering wheel or column, or brake pedal. Use one every time you leave your vehicle unattended. Steering wheel locks are inexpensive and are recommended by some experts to be the most cost-effective theft deterrent on the market today.
  • Buy a vehicle with a locking ignition or steering column
  • Consider having your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) etched on all the windows
  • Never leave anything of value in plain sight. Remove all cellular phones, audio systems, GPS devices, Satellite Radio Receivers, computers, packages, sports equipment, cameras, purses, wallets, firearms, etc. from the inside of your vehicle.
  • Take anything you can’t afford to lose with you, e.g., a wallet, credit card, or laptop computer. Put other valuables in the trunk before you park, never after you park. Thieves may be watching.
  • If you have a locking trunk release inside your vehicle, be sure to lock the release
  • Lock your glove box
  • In shopping, ask the store to hold all your purchases until you are finished there so you can carry everything to your vehicle in one trip. If you need to make more than one trip to load your trunk, move your vehicle to a different area of the parking lot after each trip.
  • Make sure that any valuables that were locked in the glove box or trunk were not taken or tampered with when you return to your vehicle. Thieves are able to get into some vehicles without leaving any visible signs of a break-in.
  • Take the removable face of your CD player with you even if you are going to be gone for a few minutes
  • Lock truck-bed toolboxes

Alarm Disclaimer

Although an alarm is a very good deterrent to a thief, it is not guaranteed protection. It is important that the above suggestions are followed even if you have a security alarm. Always be sure to arm your alarm no matter how long or how short of an amount of time you will be gone.

Theft In Process

Never attempt to stop a thief. If you witness what you believe to be a breaking and entering in process into a house or a vehicle, never confront the person or attempt to stop them. Chances are if they are willing to burglarize a home or vehicle, there is a good chance they are willing to cause bodily harm to you. Call 911 immediately to report any suspicious activity.


Information compiled from the suggestions of this department, Olympia, Washington Police Department, Fort Worth, Texas Police Department, and San Diego, California Police Department.