In a Hurry to the Beach? Don’t Forget to Lock Your Car
OCEAN CITY, MD – (June 1, 2023): The summer season is upon us here in Ocean City, Maryland. The Ocean City Police Department would like to remind our residents and visitors of a few tips on how you can keep your vehicle and valuables safe.
These tips are beneficial to everyone but more so for owners of 2010 to 2021 Kia and Hyundai vehicles. A dangerous social media challenge has been spreading nationwide over the last several months. This social media trend is challenging young teens to steal certain cars off the street using a USB cord. To help combat this issue, Hyundai and Kia have developed theft deterrent software for millions of their vehicles that lack an immobilizer and will provide it FREE of charge to vehicle owners.
Regardless of your make or model, the Ocean City Police Department would like to provide a few tips on how you can keep your vehicle and valuables safe.
- Lock ALL of your vehicle’s doors: This is true even if you plan on only being gone for “just a second”. Remember, it only takes seconds to steal items from your car. It’s not uncommon, for thieves to walk down a row of parked vehicles, looking for unlocked doors. Also, make sure car windows aren’t left open.
- Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle: You’d be surprised how often this happens, but individuals leave valuable items in plain sight all the time. If you leave items in your vehicle and they’re visible, the chances your vehicle will get broken into, increase greatly.
- Place items out of sight before reaching your destination: Someone may be watching when you put your valuables under a seat or in the trunk and the moment you’re gone, a thief could break into your car. So, place those items in a safe place before you head to the park, beach, baseball game, etc. Valuable items that thieves target are GPS units, credit cards, money, packages, and so forth. If you can’t take the items with you, secure them in a safe place in your vehicle, like a locked glove compartment or your trunk.
- Avoid leaving packages or shopping bags out in the open: Lock them into your trunk, if you have to leave the vehicle unattended.
- Park in busy, well-lit areas: Pick a parking spot where there is a lot of activity. Auto thieves prefer breaking into cars in isolated areas.
- Don’t leave a trace: Don’t leave any sign that there might be valuables “out of sight” in your vehicle. For example, the suction cup on your dashboard might tell thieves, that you have a GPS in your vehicle. Leave nothing in plain view. Very few auto break-ins are “random”. The thieves usually see something out in the open or hints of possible hidden valuables.
- Alarms or anti-theft devices work: Thieves are usually looking for the “easiest” target. If your car has an alarm, it could act as a deterrent. But don’t make this common mistake: Just because you have an alarm, doesn’t mean thieves won’t break in IF you leave valuable items in plain sight.
- Don’t leave spare keys in your vehicle: An experienced thief knows all the hiding places. Store spare keys elsewhere, possibly your wallet or purse.
- Don’t leave your driver’s license or title in the vehicle.
- Keep a record of the VIN, license plate number, and insurance information in your wallet or purse.
If your vehicle is stolen or property is taken from the vehicle, there are several things you can and should do:
- Call the Ocean City Police Department immediately. Provide a complete description of the items that were stolen. Also, provide your license plate number, make and model of vehicle, year and color, plus VIN and insurance company.
The Ocean City Police Department is prepared and proactively handling criminal violations and citizen complaints of illegal activity to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors. We want to remind citizens that if they see something suspicious, or have concerns about possible criminal activity occurring in Ocean City, reach out to us. We encourage you to call our Tip Line at 410-520-5136, email us at [email protected] or contact the Police Department directly at 410-723-6610.
To learn more about the updates available, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s webpage to learn more. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/hyundai-kia-campaign-prevent-vehicle-theft