The Honda Accord, Saber, Inspire, Nissan Sunny, Bluebird, and Maxima, just to name a few, are all highly targeted vehicles for auto theft here in the Bahamas.
In fact, according to international research and statistics a vehicle is stolen every 20 seconds, which adds up to more than a million stolen each year. Twenty percent of all auto thefts are as a result of either keys being left in the car or unlocked doors.
Additionally, data as it pertains to vehicular theft indicates that professional car thieves have entered the field of this universal offense, in increasing numbers.
However, most cars are still taken by selfish amateurs who can be stopped in their tracks fairly easily.
Therefore, you can greatly increase your protection against auto theft by taking the following precautions.
• Immediately report to the police any suspicious activity of strange people and cars, who are suddenly wandering in your neighbourhood.
• While driving, be vigilant at all times, and if you believe that you are being followed detour and drive to the nearest police station.
• Never leave your car door, window or sunroof unlocked, even if you are just going into a store for a moment or two, or even when parked in your own driveway.
• Park in well lit areas of parking lots and utilise motion activated spotlights in your driveway.
• Remove the ignition key and engage the steering lock, even when parking on your own property.
• If you have an alarm, turn it on every time you park. And if you don’t have an alarm, get one!
• Deface your stereo or satellite radio with distinct markings, and if it is a removable type always take it with you.
• Make a note of the serial numbers on your radios, computers, etc.
• Do not leave purses, backpacks, or wallets in your vehicle.
• If you must leave valuables in your car, don’t put them in the trunk while a thief could be watching (do it before you get to your destination).
• Never leave credit cards or check books in your vehicle.
• Never leave money (cash or coins) or jewellery in your vehicle.
• If you have a garage or access to a garage, use it. Then lock it. .
• Provide local authorities with the make/model/license plate and Vehicle ID number.
• Try to avoid touching the vehicle until after the responding Police Officer/s has an opportunity to inspect the vehicle for any evidence left behind by the thief.
But, if you are a victim of vehicle a theft, file a police report. It is difficult for the Police to analyse crime trends and patterns without having an accurate picture of what crimes are occurring in what areas.
More importantly, call ‘919’ or Crime Stoppers at 328-tips (New Providence), 1-300-8476 (Family Islands).