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Securing Your Vehicle

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H.A.B.I.T. (Halt Auto Break-Ins Today) is designed to promote awareness and provide helpful prevention information to reduce the number of auto break-ins in the Westerville area. 

If officers on patrol locate any vehicles that are unlocked or have visible property, the vehicle's owner is contacted by letter stressing the importance of securing their vehicle to prevent theft. 

Thefts from vehicles are crimes of opportunity. Many thieves target vehicles that are unlocked or have items inside that are visible. In order to reduce the likelihood of having your vehicle broken into, the Westerville Division of Police recommends residents take the following steps:

  • When possible, park in well-lit areas. At home, park in your garage or in your driveway with the windows up and doors locked.

  • Always lock your vehicle when you are away from it, even if it is only for a few minutes.

  • Never leave the keys in the ignition or the vehicle running. Even in the winter.  A few chilly minutes are better than losing personal belongings or a vehicle.

  • When shopping, try to park as close to the door and in the center aisle as possible. If you are out late, ask for two employees to assist you to your vehicle.

  • Never leave spare keys inside the vehicle.

  • Remove all valuables from the vehicle when it is not in use and before you arrive to your destination. GPS units, laptops, tablets, purses, money, cell phones, iPods, gift cards, credit cards and gifts are all targets for thieves.

  • If you cannot remove valuables, lock them in the trunk, glove box or center console. Cargo areas that have a cover are also good places to conceal valuables.