Howard County police are reminding residents to always lock their cars after a recent wave of thefts.
According to police, in the last month, over 150 thefts of items from vehicles have been reported.
Out of over 200 vehicle thefts so far this year, at least 46 were stolen using the car’s keys. In some incidents, vehicles were left running with the keys in the ignition. In others, keys were left inside the vehicle or taken from another vehicle in the driveway, according to Howard County Police.
Many of the vehicles were left unlocked or running with valuables inside.
Police suggest residents follow these tips to prevent both vehicle theft and theft from vehicles:
- Lock your car and take the keys with you.
- Never leave your car running unattended.
- Close and lock all doors and windows when you park.
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle.
- Park in well-lit areas, such as a garage, if possible.
- Use a steering wheel lock or alarm with an ignition-disabling device.
- Install a vehicle recovery tracking system in your vehicle.
Residents can also register for “Watch Your Car” a program with the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (MVTPC), which is designed to deter auto theft and assist in arrest of thieves.
According to the MVTPC, a car is stolen every 40 minutes in Maryland.
Registration information is available at www.HCPD.org under crime prevention.