Law enforcement encourages drivers to secure vehicles to prevent theft, break-ins

Drivers are encouraged to take precautions when securing their vehicles this month, as July is recognized as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, because summer is the most common time for vehicles to be stolen. (Courtesy photo/Getty Images)

MECOSTA COUNTY — As the heat of the summer continues to ramp up, people are inclined to leave their car windows rolled down or their air conditioners running, but drivers are encouraged to take precautions when securing their vehicles.

July is recognized as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), because summer is the most common time for vehicles to be stolen.

According to a 2017 report from Michigan Incident Crime Reporting, 19,426 cars, trucks and other vehicles were stolen in the state, with 1,871 stolen in July alone.

While more than 750,000 motor vehicles were stolen in 2017 across the U.S., as reported by the NHTSA, Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said vehicle theft is not common locally, compared to larger cities.

However, he said it is not uncommon for people to have their vehicles broken into and their property stolen, especially during the summer months.

“We do see an increase in break-ins in the summertime because people tend to leave their windows open,” Purcell said. “It’s easier for people to gain access this way.”

To prevent vehicle break-ins, Purcell said it is important to be vigilant when leaving your car unattended, including not leaving cell phones, purses or change in plain site.

“Make sure all your valuables are out of your car,” he said.

To prevent vehicle thefts or break-ins, the NHTSA recommends following a few guidelines, including not leaving the key with the vehicle unattended, closing and locking all windows and doors when parked, parking in well-lit areas and removing valuable items from the car.

The agency also recommends installing a car alarm or immobilizing device, such as a steering wheel lock.

avatar

Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the cops and courts reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply