BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – Birmingham police say there have been 395 car thefts so far this year, up three percent from last year.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said it is becoming more common throughout the county, but there are some things you can do to keep your car on the driveway.
“They’ve become more common,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Sergeant. Said Johnny Money.
Money said the first step in protecting your car from theft is to lock your car doors.
“At least make it difficult for someone to take the car,” Money said. “Make sure you park in well-lit places. Do not park in places where it is dark or easy for someone to bypass your vehicle and manipulate the vehicle, perhaps to heat it without being detected. ”
The money said that sometimes thieves look for specific parts or expensive tires, but it usually doesn’t matter how new your car is. She said it was a crime of opportunity.
“You’re going to have someone who wants to ride with joy,” Money said. “You may have someone who wants to get away from something or run away from something. You may also have someone who wants to commit a crime and wants a vehicle that will not return to them. “
She said parking in a garage or driveway is safest, but if you need to park on the street, try to keep it as close to business as possible.
“You want to stay as close as possible to the entrance of the business,” she said. “Where you can see the vehicle or where there is a lot of traffic so that someone will notice if someone connects your car or tries to break into it.”
Money said the best thing you can do is use GPS installed in your car if it’s a new model, or add a security alarm system if you’re driving an older car. Car GPS has already helped them solve several cases of stolen vehicles.
“Those new GPS in the car, the tracking systems, I think they helped a lot,” Money said. “I check a lot of activities that come through our office, where we find vehicles stolen in other counties or jurisdictions, so we find a lot of vehicles.”
Sergeant Money said it was important to be prepared in case your car was ever stolen. She said keep a file outside the car that contains your make, model, vin number, registration number. This is all the information the police will need from you to get your car back.
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