Vehicle Burglary and Theft Prevention Tips
Lately, Pasadena has been experiencing an increase in vehicle burglaries (also referred to as “auto burglary”). The good news is this crime was down 33 percent
from the same time last year, however, there were 36 vehicle burglaries in March 2021, for a total of 110 YTD. Many times, this crime happens in commercial areas, but vehicle burglary can happen anywhere. Keep your car safe (and avoid the inconvenience and expense of having to replace car windows and other car parts) – you can prevent vehicle burglary.
We’ve compiled vehicle burglary and theft prevention tips from the Pasadena Police Department and a few other law enforcement agencies:
Lock Up: An unlocked car is a gift to burglars. Lock up when you leave your car (tailgate and trunk) and take your keys with you. Close your windows (including vent-wing windows and sunroofs) – even the smallest openings is an invitation to professional thieves.
Don’t Advertise: Remove anything valuable when you leave your car – cellular phones, backpacks, bags, gifts, charging cables, etc. even spare change! Lock valuables in your trunk or take them with you. Ideally, putting items in your trunk before you park is safest. Anyone watching you won’t see you place valuables and leave them in the trunk. Once in, burglars know the usual hiding places in cars, such as under the seat.
Tinted windows might seem to make your car more safe, but thieves use flashlights to see through the window tint.
Mail: Do not leave pieces of mail in your car, especially on the seat or dashboard. Mail will let the thieves know your name and address and creates a high risk situation if you leave spare house keys or other car keys in your car.
Garage Door Opener: Avoid leaving this in your car if possible.
Handicap Placard: The Pasadena Police Department reports that thieves have been smashing windows to steal handicap placards. Remove your handicap placard from your vehicle when not in use, or minimally from plain view.
Vehicle Registration: Other agencies advice not to store your vehicle registration in your car, but to keep it in your wallet or purse.
Vehicle Alarms: Most newer vehicles are manufactured with anti-theft technology. If you have an older car, install an alarm or other device that actives a siren, horn or lights and use it. We’ve all been the “victim” of a car alarm going off for far too long and many people believe that alarms are not effective because we’re immune to the noise. However, alarms remain an effective deterrent to a burglar – not only is it startling to a burglar, but they are looking for an easy target.
Additional Anti-Theft Options: If your car is not equipped already, consider installing other security options, such as interior hood and trunk releases, locking steering columns, and others. A second ignition switch or “kill switch” (prevent electrical current from reach ing the coil distributor) can be very effective for the theft of your car itself. Also consider a fuel switch to prevent fuel from reaching the carburetor and a locking gas cap.
- Park in your garage if you have one; when you’re out, as much as possible, park in a well-lit, busy area!
- Don’t leave your car parked in an unattended public parking lots for an extended period. A car is more likely to be stolen from an unattended lot than from the street or attended lot.
- If possible, park your car in a lot where you don’t have to leave your keys.
- If you have to leave your keys with a parking attendant, leave only the ignition key. Avoid key rings or tags with your name and address on it. If your keys are lost or stolen, this information leads the thief directly to your home and car.
- Turn the vehicle wheels toward the curb when parking. This will make it more difficult for thieves to tow your car.
The Pasadena Police Department advises that if you should become the victim
of an auto burglary, report the crime immediately:
Pasadena Police Department, 626-744-4241
Carjacking, or stealing a car by force, is a random and violent form of auto theft. Carjacking is often a crime of opportunity and the first step in a secondary crime. Statistically your chances of being a carjacking victim are slim, but preventative actions can reduce the risk even more.
Anyone driving a car can become a victim of carjacking, day or night. Whether a carjacker is threatening you with a weapon or not, give up the vehicle, your life is more valuable than the car. Here are some other precautionary measures:
- Situational awareness is important: be observant of where you are, your surroundings, and of anyone approaching your vehicle.
- When you’re stopped in traffic, always leave enough room in front of you should you need to make an emergency getaway.
- Stay on busy streets and avoid lightly-traveled streets, especially after dark.
- Keep your doors locked.
- As much as possible, park in well-lit, busy areas.
- Separate your car and house keys on different key rings.
- Carry your garage door opener in your purse or briefcase.
WHERE DOES CARJACKING HAPPEN?
- Traffic signal or stop sign-controlled intersections.
- Freeway on- and off-ramps; anyplace else that drivers have to slow down or stop.
- ATMs – be very aware of your surroundings even with bank security cameras.
- Gas stations and car washes.
- Parking lots or parking garages for retailers, malls, transit stations.
- Residential driveways and streets as people get into and out of cars.
We Have Answers to Your Questions
Layered Security is one of the cornerstones of California Metro Patrol’s security service. We start by providing security services to protect your home or business from the curb to the door and inside. Our Patrol Service program is another layer of protection to consider. Criminals look for easy targets; in addition to a well-protected property, random patrols make it more difficult for criminals to find a “safe” window of time to commit their crimes.
With just a quick click, request a no-obligation quote today or call us at 888-788-0813 to discuss our patrol services.
In California, the crime of auto burglary takes place
when someone enters a locked automobile or its trunk,
with the intent either to (1) steal the car, (2) steal property
contained in the car or, (3) commit any other felony inside
the vehicle. This offense can be filed as a misdemeanor or
a felony depending on the circumstances.
Image: Good Times (Weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz County)