(BIVN) – Kelena Hoʻokano, a South Kohala community policing officer, said crimes have been down in Waimea recently, although there has been an increase in vehicle break-ins makai, at places Hapuna and Beach 69.
After Hoʻokano gave his brief update at the Waimea Community Association meeting, the Hawaii County Police Department issued a media release saying they are investigating “a rash of auto thefts in East and West Hawaiʻi and are cautioning the public to take precautions to deter would-be thieves.”
This includes tires and after market rims, the police media release said.
“One significant factor in preventing your vehicle from being stolen is simply to remove the keys from the ignition and not leave a spare anywhere in the vehicle,” said Captain Gregory Esteban of the Area I Criminal Investigations Section in the police release. He noted that keys left in a vehicle often have house keys on the same key ring, which can lead to potential burglaries along with auto thefts.
Police offered these additional recommendations:
- Lock your vehicle.
- Consider adding wheel-locks
- Never hide a second set of keys in your vehicle.
- Park in attended lots.
- If you use valet parking, leave only the ignition/door key.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Never leave your vehicle running when unattended, even if you will be gone for only a minute.
- When fueling your vehicle at a gas station, remove the ignition key, conceal any valuables and lock your doors.
- Completely close all windows of parked vehicles.
- Do not leave valuables or paperwork in plain sight.
- Park with your wheels turned toward the curb to make your vehicle more difficult to tow.
- Set your emergency brake when parking your vehicle to make it more difficult to tow.
- Back a rear-wheel-drive vehicle into your driveway to make it more difficult to tow.
- If you have a garage, park your vehicle in it and lock it.
“Owners may also want to consider arming their vehicles with an alarm system or a steering wheel lock to further act as a theft deterrent,” Esteban said in the news release. “Although these are not 100 percent theft proof, the installation of these and similar devices may discourage would-be thieves and protect your property.”