Vehicle safety: How to protect yourself from car thefts

With some areas in the Miami Valley reporting an increase car thefts and thefts from vehicles, it’s important to know what you can do to reduce your risk.

Earlier this month the Dayton Police Department reported it has received 136 reports of thefts of motor vehicle parts and accessories this year, which is a 38% increase from last year. More than 430 vehicles have been stolen this year alone. Some of these cases involved keys left in cars -- sometimes in the ignition with the car running, according to police.

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While numbers have increased in the past year, there are ways to remain safe, according to Louis Savaglio, a Technical Training Specialist of TBC Corporation, an automotive tire maker.

General tips for people to keep safe:

  • Please remember to lock all your doors as unlocked doors can be an easy way for thieves to get inside the car.
  • Keep windows closed at all times as it can provide quick entry and help a thief unlock the door.
  • Remove keys from the car or vehicle. Keys left in plain sight or in the ignition may make it easier for someone to drive off with the car.
  • If a person has a key ring with additional keys, the thief may gain access to other points.
  • Do not leave valuables or expensive items in the car.
  • Park the car in a well-lit area as many thieves do not want to be seen, identified or caught.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
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In addition to these tips, for extra safety measures it is recommended too:

  • Install a tracking system as it may help you locate your vehicle if it gets stolen or goes missing.
  • Install an audible alarm system or anti-theft system as sound may warrant attention and protect the vehicle from being stolen.
  • Install an immobilizer system as it can disable your vehicle and protect the vehicle from being stolen.