New Castle County police investigated 35 reports of stolen vehicles or attempted thefts, and are warning car owners to take measures to protect their cars as much as they can.
Of those 35 vehicles, 26 were Hyundai or Kia models. Both of the companies have released software upgrades designed to counter their easy thefts. Those upgrades are available for free as a safety recall.
In the meantime, free steering wheel locks are still currently available at NCCPD Public Safety Headquarters by calling (302) 395-8050.
Protecting your vehicle is more than having the software updated, New County police said.
How to avoid thefts
- Lock your car doors. Police recommend adopting a 9 p.m. routine that emcompasses removing valuables from their vehicles, locking vehicle doors, locking doors to residences, turning on exterior lights and activating all alarms and security systems.
- Remove your keys and spare keys from the vehicle.
- Make sure all windows are closed.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Park near surveillance cameras.
- Install an audible alarm or motion-activated in-car camera.
- Install an additional tracking device. Those can include a GPS plug-in like Bouncie or an Apply Airtag.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car.
- Don’t leave your car running unoccupied.
- Be alert.
If your car is stolen, contact 9-1-1 immediately and provide the following information.
- License plate number.
- The year, make, model, and color of the car.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Any information on tracking capabilities your vehicle may have.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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