The Oakdale Police Department would like to remind residents to take precautions to prevent vehicle theft as these types of crimes are on the rise.
During cold weather months, it is important to refrain from warming up vehicles and leaving them unattended. According to the FBI, nearly 40 percent of motor vehicle thefts occur at a residence. It's easy to fall into a trap of thinking a crime won't occur at your home, but it is the most common place for them to happen.
Here are some simple vehicle theft prevention tips:
Do not leave running vehicles unattended.
Always turn the ignition off.
Take your car keys with you, even if you are just going inside for a short period of time.
Be strategic where you park. Park in well-lit areas.
Move valuables out of plain view inside your vehicle.
Keep your garage door closed.
Theft of a vehicle is the first step in a string of potential other crimes and issues you could face. Any valuables left in a stolen vehicle likely belong to the thief. Garage door openers inside a stolen vehicle could risk access to the home. Stolen vehicles are often damaged, used for drug activity or serve as shelter. If a stolen vehicle is returned, it could contain body fluids, drug paraphernalia or other debris. Owners are at risk for having to pay for repairs and impound fees.