Making Vehicle Theft Easy


Making Vehicle Theft Easy

West Grand Neighborhood Organization
By Esteban Moreno, ATPA VIN Technician

    As we head into the colder months we tend to drop our guards with all the holiday preparations being done. We are busy making family plans, holiday meals, shopping, cleaning and decorating. Because of the cooler weather we want to start our vehicles and let them warm up before leaving. Unless you have a remote starter it is illegal to leave the keys in your vehicle and leaving it to idle unattended. This is per the Grand Rapids City Ordinance code 10.42 of Article 4 Parking Regulations. This is a violation that can be cited by the Grand Rapids Police Department.

    In order to avoid getting a citation or worst case having your vehicle stolen it is best not to leave your vehicle running unattended. It is also  advisable not to leave any valuables in your vehicle overnight. Many tend to leave their computer bags, purses and phones in plain view. They think that if the vehicle is locked it will not be taken. Thieves can get into your vehicle in a matter of seconds. They can use anything from a piece of porcelain off of a spark plug, a window punch, brick or rock and screwdrivers. Many also leave spare keys in their vehicle or in a magnetic box which only allows the thief to take the vehicle.

    Thieves will take loose change, kicker boxes, stereos and GPS'. If the vehicle is stolen, they will joyride and then park the vehicle. Some return to use it again others will discard the keys. Usually any items in the car like car seats and papers in the glove box will be dumped in some alley. As a retired police officer and auto theft detective I witnessed many cases where children were left in the vehicle when it was stolen. Almost always the thief realizes that there is a child and will abandon it nearby. Luckily the vehicle was located almost immediately and the child was not injured. Let's try and avoid any of these situations and be smart. Don't leave your key's in your vehicle!

        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

Funds for this program are provided by the Michigan Auto Theft Prevention Authority.

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: Make an Appointment Now!