Auto thefts can occur anywhere, even Charles County. In 2020, a total of 187 vehicles were stolen in Charles County, and 149 were recovered. There were an additional 60 vehicles recovered which were stolen from outside Charles County.

We often promote our “9PM Routine” on social media, encouraging citizens to lock their vehicles to prevent thefts FROM autos. But what about thefts OF autos? How do you prevent your vehicle from being stolen after you park it? 

We reached out to our Auto Theft Unit to get the best tips for preventing auto thefts:

  1. Never leave your car running with the keys in it. Using remote start systems and keeping the car locked is OK. 
  2. If you have a push start, do NOT leave your spare remote in your car. When you do this, all thieves need to do is get in and push start, and off they go. 
  3. Use a club anti-theft device, which attaches to the steering wheel. Although these are not as popular as they once were, they are still an effective deterrent to would-be thieves. 
  4. Keep your doors locked and do not leave valuables in plain view.
  5. Park in well-lit areas and don’t leave your car in public parking lots for extended periods of time.
  6. Using an auto manufacturer GPS, such as OnStar, Bluelink or Uconnect, can be very helpful to the police if your vehicle is stolen. These services are often paid subscriptions. 
  7. Sign up for the Maryland “Watch Your Car” Program, administered by the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (MVTPC). Click here for details on this free program. 

By using these simple precautions, you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim of auto theft. In addition, always look out for your neighbors and report suspicious activity by calling 301-932-2222.