Don't Be Fooled!
West Grand Neighborhood Organization
By Esteban Moreno, ATPA VIN Technician
Recorded auto thefts across the country have shown trends to cycle through. One of the trends that is consistent year round is a bait and steal method. Drivers are unaware of any foul play until it's too late. Most citizens are of good nature and truly want to do what is right. As good as people are there are others out there that know this and want to take advantage of it. We see this everywhere from panhandlers to mail fraud.
This trend consists of a disabled vehicle or stranded motorist who are either waiving you down or just looking helpless. Some are young ladies in distress, to grandma and grandpa with a flat or their hood up. Others are young female or teen hitchhikers to a unresponsive female along the road. The good Samaritan sees the need for help and stops to assist. Once out of their vehicle a second person comes out of hiding and takes their car. The distressed person will usually follow in their vehicle or be picked up down the road.
I'm not saying don't stop to help. First lock your doors get on your cell phone and call 911. Tell them your location and why you have stopped. Describe the person in need and if applicable their vehicle and registration plate. Either stay on the phone with the operator or tell them to call you back if not heard from in 5 minutes. Never leave your vehicle running or keys in the ignition. Make sure you are safely off the roadway and keep a vigil eye out. Never get into an altercation with the suspects and if you can't avoid it let them take the car. It's property and not worth losing your life over. Don't be fooled by what appears to be someone in distress. Review your options and be safe!
For any further questions regarding vehicle theft prevention call West Grand Neighborhood Organization at 616-451-0150 or e-mail the West Grand Neighborhood Organization ATPA VIN Technicians at ATPA@westgrand.org
Another great way to protect your vehicle from Auto Theft is getting your car VIN Etched. Appointments for VIN Etching can be made for weekdays between 8:30 AM-10 AM FREE by going to the following link:
Funds for this program are provided by the Michigan Auto Theft Prevention Authority.