Car thefts are on the rise in Baltimore County and the surrounding region with 1,500 car thefts and 170 carjackings in the city of Baltimore so far this year even though auto theft has declined in the city from a year ago, according to a recent report on WMAR.
Fleets with vehicles in the Baltimore area should be aware and make sure drivers are vigilant in safeguarding their vehicles.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) monitors thefts in the region and told WMAR reporters that the thieves are appropriating the cars to sell parts, but also using them to commit other crimes such as bank robberies.
Police have made several arrests, many of who are juveniles.
Make sure your fleet is not a target of thieves. Experts advise taking the following steps:
Check Security Systems and Driver Training
The NCIB links some of the recent auto thefts to failed security systems due to user error. Check periodically to make sure your fleet's security systems are in good working order and that your drivers know how the system functions.
Park in Safe, Well-Lighted Locations
Remind drivers to look for secure and visible parking areas.
Look Around Before Leaving the Vehicle
Busy drivers may need a reminder to take a moment before exiting their vehicles to assess the area for any suspicious activity.
Never Leave Items on the Seats
Laptops, cell phones, even items that seem of nominal worth should be stored in the glove compartment or trunk where they are not visible and tempting to thieves.
Lock the Doors
Drivers should be reminded that even if making a quit "pit stop," they must lock their vehicles to ensure security.
View the full WMAR repot here.