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SECURITY QUICK TIPS
 
Protect You & Your Vehicle

  • Park in well-lit, busy areas. Avoid leaving your vehicle in unattended parking lots for long periods of time.
  • Always use your emergency brake when parking. In addition to ensuring safety, using the emergency brake makes your car harder to tow.
  • When buying a car, ask about anti-theft options such as steering column locks, alarms, switches that interrupt the fuel or electronic system, and locks for tape desks, batteries and gas tanks. Many insurance companies offer reduced rates to owners who install security devices.
  • Ask about installing a vehicle tracking system.
  • Keep your car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a complete description in a safe place at home. Click here for a Car Information Form. Since 1969, the federal government has required manufactures to engrave a unique number, the VIN, on all passenger cars in one visible and several hidden locations. VINs of stolen cars are registered with the FBI's National Crime Information Center.
  • If you are a victim of theft or vandalism immediately contact the Columbus Police Department at 911.
Tips for Other Modes of Transportation
  • Park out of sight in a garage or basement, or use a cover.
  • Engrave with an Operation Identification number recommended by local law enforcement.
  • Lock all bicycles with a casehardened chain or cable and lock, winding the cable through the frame and both wheels and then around a fixed object.
  • Many specialized vehicles don't have VINs and should be marked with another ID number, such as a driver's license.
  • Use secured "toppers" or toolboxes for your truck. Don't assume a thief can't lift a box because it's heavy.
Avoid Buying a Stolen Vehicle
  • Be suspicious of any deal that sounds too good to be true.
  • Verify that the VIN plate is intact and check it against the VIN on the ownership documents.
  • Make sure the federal safety inspection sticker, located on the driver's door or doorjamb, is securely in place and none of the numbers appear to be tampered with.
  • Ask the seller about the vehicle's history and past financing and insurance. Verify this information with the bank or insurance company.
  • Be wary when purchasing used auto parts-you could be patronizing a "chop shop" where stolen goods are sold and indirectly encouraging auto theft.