The Hawai`i Police Department is investigating a rash of auto thefts in East and West Hawaiʻi and are cautioning the public to take precautions to deter would-be thieves. This includes tires and after market rims.
“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 Captain 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:
- Lock your vehicle
- Consider adding wheel-locks
- Never hide a second set of keys in your vehicle
- Park in attended lots
- If you use valet parking, leave only the ignition/door key
- Park in well-lit areas
- Never leave your vehicle running when unattended, even if you will be gone for only a minute
- When fueling your vehicle at a gas station, remove the ignition key, conceal any valuables and lock your doors.
Completely close all windows of parked vehicles
- Do not leave valuables or paperwork in plain sight
- Park with your wheels turned toward the curb to make your vehicle more difficult to tow
- Set your emergency brake when parking your vehicle to make it more difficult to tow
- Back a rear-wheel-drive vehicle into your driveway to make it more difficult to tow. If you have a garage, park your vehicle in it and lock it
“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 percent theft proof, the installation of these and similar devices may discourage would-be thieves and protect your property.”