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Cold weather may increase chance of vehicle theft



1300123_fff2-4402941-5698629Freezing temperatures are in the forecast for the next six mornings, and the potential for vehicle thefts increases as many area residents leave their vehicles unattended to warm up. The Reno Police Department does not want you to become a victim. Vehicles left running with keys inside are an easy target for thieves.

On average we see one vehicle theft per day during the winter months, with the majority of those crimes occurring between 5 and 9 a.m. The theft of a vehicle can be a major inconvenience that disrupts work and recreational activities during the busy holiday season. Additionally, the theft of a vehicle may lead to other crimes. Stolen keys may be used to gain access to victim’s homes to commit burglaries, and mail or other paperwork can be used to commit identity theft.

The best way to approach cold morning commutes is to start the vehicle and remain with it while it is warming up. Another option is in invest in a remote start system that will disable the vehicle if someone tries to steal it.

Other tips that may help prevent vehicle theft include:

* Park in well lit areas and always lock your car when it is unattended.
* Never leave your keys in the ignition or elsewhere in the vehicle.
* If you have a garage, use it rather than parking outside where your vehicle is more vulnerable. This will also reduce the amount of time it takes to warm up your vehicle in the morning.
* Don’t leave valuables (including firearms), automatic garage door openers, mail, or other personal papers in your vehicle.
* Never hide a second set of keys in your vehicle. Extra keys can easily be found, especially by experienced thieves who know the common hiding places in vehicles.
* Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.
* Maintain your vehicle records in a safe within your residence. In the event you vehicle is stolen, the vehicle records will be necessary to complete a police report.

For further information on crime tips you can visit http://reno.gov/Index.aspx?page=451, or search keyword Crime Prevention at reno.gov.

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