Driving is an activity many Las Vegans engage in several times a day. We all know that it’s important to drive carefully and follow the rules of the road — but getting into an accident isn’t the only risk you need to be aware of. You should also think about precautions you can take against car theft and robbery.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2012 Hot Spots report on auto theft, there were 7,981 car thefts in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise area in 2012 alone.
Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to help prevent a thief from making off with your car. Chrissie Coon, public information officer at the North Las Vegas Police Department, says it’s important to always pay attention to your surroundings. Forgetting simple tasks, like locking your car doors, can leave you vulnerable to a thief.
“For example, some people get out of the car and leave it running when they drop off their kids,” Coon says.
Denise Stride, crime prevention specialist at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, says that paying attention to your surroundings is key to safety.
“Lock the doors of areas that you leave unattended for any length of time, even if it’s your car and you’ll be right back,” says Stride.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department offers these tips to help prevent car theft:
Thieves don’t only target unattended cars; sometimes, they’re after what’s in your wallet or purse. For example, Coon says that last year, residents in the North Las Vegas area experienced a rash of incidents in which robbers followed elderly people home from casinos.
To help avoid this type of scenario, Stride offers the following tips:
In the effort to prevent crime, you don’t have to go it alone, Stride says. Local resources offer information and training, as well as access to experts. To get you started, she offers this list:
Lastly, in addition to taking the above precautions, it’s important to trust yourself. When someone or something makes you feel uneasy, pay attention to what your instincts are telling you.
“Teach yourself to look around,” says Stride. “If something doesn’t look right or feel right, then back out of the situation.”