HPD Offers 15 Tips to Deter Auto Thefts

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Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a rash of auto thefts in East and West Hawaiʻi and advise the public to take precautions to deter would-be thieves.

“One significant factor in preventing your vehicle from being stolen is simply to remove the keys from the ignition and not leave a spare anywhere in the vehicle,” said Lt. Gregory Esteban of the Area I Criminal Investigations Section.

He noted that keys left in a vehicle often have house keys on the same key ring, which can lead to potential burglaries along with auto thefts.


Esteban offers these additional steps:

  1. Lock your vehicle.
  2. Never hide a second set of keys in your vehicle.
  3. Park in attended lots.
  4. If you use valet parking, leave only the ignition/door key.
  5. Park in well-lit areas.
  6. Never leave your vehicle running when unattended, even if you will be gone for only a minute.
  7. When fueling your vehicle at a gas station, remove the ignition key, conceal any valuables and lock your doors.
  8. Completely close all windows of parked vehicles.
  9. Do not leave valuables or paperwork in plain sight.
  10. Park with your wheels turned toward the curb to make your vehicle more difficult to tow.
  11. Set your emergency brake when parking your vehicle to make it more difficult to tow.
  12. Back a rear-wheel-drive vehicle into your driveway to make it more difficult to tow.
  13. If you have a garage, park your vehicle in it and lock it.
  14. * Do not leave title paperwork in your vehicle.

“Owners may also want to consider arming their vehicles with an alarm system or a steering wheel lock to further act as a theft deterrent,” Esteban said. ” Although these are not 100% theft-proof, the installation of these and similar devices may discourage would be thieves and protect your property.”

*[Note: a previous version erroneously recommended not leaving registration papers in the vehicle. State law requires the certificate of registration to be kept in the vehicle.]


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