The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is reminding citizens not to leave keys in their motor vehicles.
Since May 1, 2017, 9 vehicles have been reported stolen to the Sheriff’s Office that had their keys in them!
During that time frame, the Sheriff’s Office received 53 reports of thefts from motor vehicles, 38 of those vehicle were confirmed to have been left unlocked.
These incidents have happened throughout Washington County.
Keep in mind that criminals will choose an easy target. By following the steps below you can make it difficult for a criminal to steal your car or steal from your car.
- DO NOT leave your keys in the vehicle!
- Close all windows and lock all doors, even if you only leave your car for a moment.
- Never leave your vehicle running unattended.
- Keep the interior of your car “showroom clean” with nothing in it.
- If you must store valuables in your car, hide them or place them in the trunk before you arrive at your destination in the event that a criminal is casing the area. Never leave bags, purses, wallets, briefcases, laptops, cell phones and loose change in plain view.
- Hide chargers and accessories that indicate a GPS, mobile phone or other device may be stashed in your vehicle.
- Remove garage door openers, key fobs, and house, work and car keys so that a criminal cannot steal your car or commit burglary.
- Improve visibility where your car is parked. If you park on the street, choose a well-lit, open space even if it means adding additional exterior lighting. Trim back trees or bushes that block the view of your vehicle from your home. Avoid parking near anything that limits visibility such as wooded areas, dumpsters, large vans or trucks.
- Be observant when you exit or enter your parked vehicle, stop and take a look around the area.
- Report any suspicious activity to the police.