Provided by Prince William County
With colder temperatures, the temptation is to start cars to warm them up and defrost the windows, or just keep the motor running while a quick trip is made inside a convenience store or gas station. While this may appear to be a good idea, it is not. Vehicles that are left running, unattended and unlocked make attractive targets for thieves.
The Prince William County Police Department suggests the following tips to reduce the opportunity for a theft to occur.
- Remain with the vehicle whenever it is running. Do not leave vehicles unattended with the keys in the ignition.
- Use a second key or keyless report to lock the door if the unattended car is left running. Keep the vehicle in view because locked vehicles can be easily opened by thieves.
- Consider purchasing a remote starter for the vehicle which locks the doors and prevents the vehicle from being driven away without a key in the ignition.
- Share security videos showing possible suspects with the police if the vehicle is stolen from a home with a video surveillance system.
The most important thing is to call the police promptly to report a crime or any suspicious activity. The non-emergency line is staffed around the clock. The phone number is 703-792-6500.
Remember that these are crimes of opportunity. They can occur anytime that the circumstances permit. In the United States, a vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Do not become a statistic!