A break-in can really wreck your vacation. That’s why Michigan’s auto theft prevention program H.E.A.T. is reminding drivers this summer to take some simple steps to deter thieves and keep your car safe.
Michigan’s statewide auto theft prevention program, called Help Eliminate Auto Theft (H.E.A.T.), has a mission to reduce car break-ins all over the state. HEAT offers rewards for tips on car thefts and distributes safety tips for drivers. Because of their efforts, auto thefts are decreasing across the state.
Terri Miller, executive director of H.E.A.T., warns Michigan drivers to stay vigilant.
“We like to relax and enjoy the weather, but we want to remind you to remain alert, even on vacation. You don’t want to be an easy target.”
A lot of auto thefts happen because drivers get lazy and forget to take simple steps to protect their cars and their valuables. Don’t become an auto theft victim. Use these simple steps to make your car less appealing to thieves:
1. Hide Your Valuables.
Leaving valuable personal property in plain sight is like sending out an invitation to thieves. Alanna Woolley, research assistant at Center for Urban Studies said:
“We’ve been seeing everything from keys to laptops and phones. Working together we could really reduce larcenies if people take or hide their valuables before arriving at their location. Thieves are watching for opportunities. . . . We can make Corktown, and all communities, safer when we take responsibility for the personal items within our reach. Don’t make it easy for them to get your stuff.”
H.E.A.T. recommends stowing your valuables before you reach your destination. They warn that thieves may be watching you park and see you hide your belongings.
2. Roll Up Your Windows
The August sun can heat up a car very quickly. But leaving windows cracked gives car thieves easy access and sets you up to be the victim of auto theft. Close your windows tightly. If you are driving a convertible, make sure your top is up and secure. That includes your sun roof. Don’t leave car thieves any easy access to your car.
3. Take Your Keys Every Time
Even if you are just running inside for a minute, take the time to turn off your car and take your keys with you. Miller reports:
“Far too many reported car thefts are because owners left the keys inside the vehicle.”
Preventing Thefts With Courtesy Tickets
To help drivers remember to take safety seriously, Center for Urban Studies volunteers canvased Corktown, giving friendly “courtesy tickets” to cars with obvious auto theft risks. They wrote 80 tickets – almost 40 percent to cars with out-of-state plates. Hopefully, the ticket recipients will take the warning and try these important safety tips so they can avoid becoming a victim of auto thefts.
David Christensen is an auto accident attorney for Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He helps the victims of car crashes get the recovery they need to heal. If you or someone you know has suffered a serious motor vehicle accident, contact Christensen Law today.