Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Gregory Esteban
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.
“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 Lieutenant 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.
- 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.
- Do not leave the registration or title paperwork in your vehicle.
“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.”