Arm Yourself Against Auto Theft in Milwaukee

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in its Uniform Crime Reports, says that criminals in the U.S. steal a motor vehicle every 40 seconds. In Milwaukee, the projected number of cars stolen is on the increase compared to actual numbers for 2010.

The projected number for 2012 of autos stolen in Milwaukee is 4,996. The number is based on data collected for 12 years, according to City While this number is not the highest in the nation, it is significant, especially to those whose cars have been stolen.

The following are some helpful tips to avoid having your vehicle stolen:

  • Never leave your keys in the car (almost 20 percent of stolen vehicles had keys left in them)
  • Lock your car always (about 50 percent of stolen cars were not locked)
  • Park where there is good lighting (more than 50 percent of all vehicles are stolen at night)
  • Park in lots where there is an attendant (thieves prefer not to have witnesses)
  • If you park in a lot where there is an attendant, give him or her just the key(s) for the ignition and door
  • Don’t ever leave your car when the engine is running, even if you will be absent for a very short time (places where you might be tempted to leave your keys in a running car that are common sites for car theft include gas stations, ATMs and convenience stores)
  • Make sure your car windows are closed all the way when you leave the auto
  • If you park with your wheels turned towards the curb, it is harder for a criminal to tow it away
  • Park back end first in your driveway if your car is a rear-wheel vehicle; park front end first if it is a front-wheel drive
  • Always engage your emergency brake when you park
  • If you have a garage at home, lock it as well as locking the auto
  • Keep the car title in your home or office (in order to make stealing more difficult, also keep your registration in your wallet)
  • If you’re not going to use your car for a long time, disable it (you can do this by taking out the electronic ignition fuse, coil wire, or rotor distributor)
  • If you have “T”-shaped door locks, replace them with straight locks
  • It’s easier for police to find your car if your VIN (vehicle identification number) is etched on your windows and important car parts
  • Put some business cards or other type of identification inside the door pockets
  • Use an “ignition kill switch”
  • Attach a fuel kill switch that stops fuel from flowing
  • Use a steering wheel lock that thieves can see
  • Don’t leave tempting valuables visible inside the car
  • Use locks that disable the gas or brake pedals and the transmission shift
  • Consider using tire locks
  • Install a hood lock to prevent criminals from getting to your security system and battery
  • Be sure your car has alarms