Tips on how to reduce vehicle-related crimes as spike in DC area thefts and carjackings continue

Car thieves have been staying busy around the D.C. region. They’re taking more cars, sometimes at gun or knife point, and others are simply breaking into cars and taking things when car owners are not around.

Anyone who is victimized can chalk it up to bad luck – to an extent. On the one hand, it’s hard to avoid certain areas that will increase the chances you end up a target. But there are things you can do to reduce the odds you’re the next victim.

“In any location where cars are going to be for an extended period of time, we do see that auto theft and theft from auto and carjacking numbers spike a little bit,” admitted Greenbelt Police spokeswoman Hannah Glasgow. “People go there and they know that there are going to be cars there that could potentially be targets.”

Her advice will probably echo the advice you’ve heard from police departments around the region for years, but that’s because it’s still your best bet.

“Always keep your doors locked if you’re driving through a parking lot at night,” said Glasgow. “If you’re parking your vehicle somewhere, don’t leave any valuables in the vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is locked.”

“It’s amazing that if you don’t leave your laptop sitting in the back seat it generally won’t get taken,” she admitted.

And park in well-lit areas. Some car thieves might be brazen and risk it all in broad daylight. But plenty of others would rather not chance being seen by anyone else, whether they’re just trying to take your car or take something from inside it.

Making it harder to evade detection will probably send them looking for an easier vehicle to target instead.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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Crime News | Latest News | Local News

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