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Personal Property

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Auto Theft Prevention

Auto theft is a widespread crime that affects the whole community. Higher insurance rates, property damage and possible injuries and loss of life from accidents are the results.  It's a billion dollar-a-year crime. The thieves' motives are joyriding, transportation or profit (either selling the vehicle or stripping the parts).  You can reduce the risk of theft of your unattended car, its parts or contents by observing certain precautions.

The majority of stolen cars were left unlocked, often with the keys in the ignition. Whether you leave your car for a moment or for several hours, always lock it and take the keys with you. Never leave your vehicle with the engine running. Don't make it easy for a theft.

Discourage Thieves

Some thieves specialize in lifting the door-locking buttons with a coat hanger.   Consider purchasing smooth, non-flared locking buttons for your car doors.

Hood locks are available for vehicles with hoods that can be opened from the outside. Alarm systems can be installed on your vehicle. Alarms can be wired to go off if any door, hood or trunk is opened and to detect any movement of the car.

Fuel and electrical cutoff devices can be installed to shut off fuel to a vehicle engine shortly after starting if the vehicle is stolen. Hidden switches can be wired to prevent starting a car with a stolen key or to help deter easy jump starting.

WB01518_1.gif (392 bytes) Be Careful Of Your Keys
Keep car keys and house keys on separate rings.  Never have an identification tag on your car key ring - thieves may use it to locate your car. Never hide an extra car key under the hood.
WB01518_1.gif (392 bytes) Secure Valuables and Parcels
Never leave check books, credit cards or other such articles unattended in your car. Lock valuables in the trunk.
WB01518_1.gif (392 bytes) Park In Well-Lit and Busy Areas
This is important for both your personal safety and the protection of your car and its contents.
WB01518_1.gif (392 bytes) Secure Your Registration
Do not keep your vehicle registration or driver's license inside your car.  Carry it with you.
WB01518_1.gif (392 bytes) Mark Your Property
Criminals have also found it profitable to steal equipment and accessories. Engraving tools are available to mark equipment and accessories such as batteries, stereos, CB radios and hub caps.

The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is an Accredited Agency certified by the State of Washington and has dedicated itself to C.O.P.S. (Community Oriented Policing Services).

If you have questions regarding these pages contact the
Yakima County Sheriff