Cars, trucks, SUV’s etc. can all be stolen from just about anywhere. In a shopping mall parking lot, at a park or play field, outside a convenience store or at a gas station or even at home.
From January through the end of March, there have been 16 car thefts in and around Woodinville. Last year there were 12 car thefts during the first three months.
Car thieves have many ways to take your vehicle. The easiest is when the driver keeps the car unlocked. Sometimes drivers will “hide” keys under a mat, in the console, in the glove compartment. Car thieves, like car prowlers, often check car doors for the ones that are unlocked. And they know where to look for the common hiding places for keys. So, when you park your car in a parking lot or parking garage, take your key with you, lock your car, roll up your windows.
The same is true when you park your car at home. If you park on the street or in your driveway, be sure to lock your car, take your keys and do not leave anything in view! You might think that you are safer parking in your garage. And in a sense, you are. Your vehicle is out of sight. And assuming all the doors are closed and locked, the casual car thief will not take the time to try to get to your vehicle.
However, if you keep your garage doors open while you are gardening in the back yard, that gives an opportunity to a thief to check out your car, your lawnmower, tool box, and anything else in your garage. And for that matter, if your garage is attached to your house, the thief can check out your home. Also, there have been cases where vehicles have been securely locked only to have someone open the garage door with a remote from a car parked outside.
The lesson is to take your garage remote with you when your park your car in your driveway or in front of your house. And remove your keys and your things from your vehicle, even if it is parked in your garage. That may seem like overdoing it. But as secure as your garage may be, its security is not perfect. Also, lock the door between your garage and your house. Some crime prevention professionals even recommend having a deadbolt lock on the door between the garage and house.
For more tips on protecting your vehicle, go to
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:
Here is a video of a former car thief talking about how he stole cars and more prevention tips. It is older, but the advice is still relevant.