Police Offer Dozens Of Tips To Curb Auto Thefts - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Police Offer Dozens Of Tips To Curb Auto Thefts

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Every year hundreds of vehicles are stolen in Middle Tennessee.

Metro police said they've come up with 50 ways to keep your car safe.

Even with the advent of bait cars and security alarms auto theft is still big in Nashville.

Thieves are getting away with too many vehicles. Since June 12, 168 vehicles have been reported stolen in Davidson County.

In more than half the cases the victims made one big mistake. They left keys in the car. If you're a thief you couldn't ask for a better invitation.

"I mean thieves are out there looking to victimize everybody. They don't need any help," said Sgt. Billy Smith of Metro's Auto Theft Unit.

The Metro Police Department's newest crime prevention program is called 50 Ways To Keep Your Car Safe. And, it may all seem like common sense reminders. But, police said, they see people making the same mistakes over and over again.

"The obvious thing, take your keys with you when you go, which will make it harder for the thief to steal.  Never, ever, ever leave the title," Smith said.

Tennessee law requires a registration in the car -- not the title.

"If they steal the car there's nothing they can do with that.  If your title is in the car when they steal the car that car is theirs," Smith said.

He also advised against hiding a key on the car.

"Once they got that, they've got your car," he said.

"I know it's hot, 100 degrees out here, but if you leave your car windows down it's another avenue to get into your automobile," he said.

Locks are also important. Most new cars have the kind you can't get a hold of, but older cars "have the T's on them."

"It's easy to run anything through here or through the door and pop that open and they're in the vehicle," Smith said.

He said always park your car with the wheels turned because some thieves will try to tow your vehicle away. He also advised against leaving valuables sitting in the car. To a thief, a purse or bag means the possibility of an extra set of keys.

To find out 50 ways to keep your car safe, click here.

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