Wilshire police issue stolen and burglarized vehicle advisory

| February 5, 2014 | 0 Comments


The Los Angeles Police Department is asking the public to remain more vigilant about vehicle-related thefts and burglaries in the Wilshire area.

Vehicle thieves are targeting 1990s to early 2000s Hondas and Toyotas. The theft of catalytic converters is also on the rise, possibly because they contain precious metals. In addition, third-row seats from Chevrolet Suburban vehicles have become a target as well as thefts of headlight assemblies, exterior rearview mirrors and steering wheel airbags from late-model European automobiles, according to detective Carmine Sasso.

She offers the following tips:

•    Always lock and secure your vehicle, and ensure all keys are accounted for; never leave “spare” keys in your car.
•    Never park your car with the keys left inside (even in your own driveway).  Detective  Sasso points to an actual case in which the victim said he left his car parked in his driveway with the keys in it, because he lived in a “nice area.”
•    Be aware of where you park your car. Is the area well-lighted? Is it an area that is frequented by pedestrian and vehicle traffic? Some people have actually forgotten where they parked their cars and mistakenly reported it stolen.
•    Do not leave motorcycles parked in one location for an extended period of time. Motorcycle thieves typically “watch” a motorcycle for a while and then simply drive by with a van, cut any locking device and easily load the motorcycle into the back of a van.
•    Consider installing a multifunctional vehicle alarm system.

In addition are some common-sense steps to deter auto thefts.

•    Always lock and make sure your car is secured. This means physically checking to make certain your car is locked, since automatic key fobs do not always work. Car burglars typically check car doors.
•    “Lock It, Hide It, Keep It” is a Department-wide campaign to help prevent thefts from vehicles. Its premise is simple: Never leave anything in plain sight, including loose change in the center console. As a car burglar scans the interior of a car for valuables (i.e. loose change, laptop computers, shopping bags, wallets, cell phones, phone chargers, etc.), the thief will probably check the car door to see if it’s unlocked. But if nothing is visible, he will typically move on to the next car with valuables in plain sight. If that car is locked, the thief will often smash a window and quickly grab whatever valuables he can. Surprisingly, detectives have been advised by victims that they would leave their cars unlocked rather than risk having their car windows smashed. This practice is definitely not encouraged, since thieves are very likely to ransack unlocked cars for anything they can steal.
•    Do not store clothes and other personal items in your vehicle, making your car an extension of your home closet. Many victims of car theft have routinely left such personal property in their cars.
•    When using a valet service to park, consider where the valet will park your car and if the service is reputable. In a recent incident, through a video surveillance system, detectives saw a valet remove a briefcase from the trunk of a victim’s car.
•    When shopping, try not to make repeated trips to your parked vehicle to drop off your shopping bags and continue shopping. Car burglars will loiter in commercial parking structures to watch out for those who “secure” their recent purchases so they can execute a quick “smash and grab.”
•    Be aware of locations frequented by car burglars, such as commercial and residential parking structures, subterranean multi-unit residential carports and side streets off major thoroughfares.



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