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Police offer tips to prevent auto thefts


Hawaiʻi Island police are 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.”

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