CAR BUYING TIPS AVOID BUYING A STOLEN CAR ONLINE RESOURCES
Auto theft is one of many factors that determine Each year thousands of cars are seized from • This brochure: http://bit.ly/igHhss
your insurance premium. When shopping for individuals who unknowingly purchased a
a car, it’s wise to research the susceptibility stolen car because it was a “good deal.” When • All OII consumer Fact Pak brochures:
of similar makes and models to theft. Vehicle confiscated by police, the buyer not only http://bit.ly/ghEHG4
“extras,” such as custom hubcaps, sound and continues to make payments for the car but • National Insurance Crime Bureau:
GPS systems can attract thieves too. also faces the possible charge of receiving www.nicb.org
The Highway Loss Data Institute provides stolen property. • National Insurance Crime Bureau, report
insurance theft losses by vehicle make, model • Make sure the VIN plate matches the suspected insurance fraud:
and year at http://bit.ly/iclmA9. Additional theft number on the seller’s title when you http://bit.ly/gyOLXm
information is available from the National purchase a car. Also be sure that the VIN
• Insurance Information Institute, preventing
Insurance Crime Bureau at www.nicb.org. plates have not been tampered with or
Consider investing in a factory installed anti- altered. Thieves usually remove or replace
theft deterrent device. Many newer makes and the plates with ones from a similar make/ • Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, title or VIN
models come equipped with them. Check with model. check: www.dps.state.oh.us/atps
your insurer regarding possible discounts. • Check vehicle history. Ask the seller for a • National Insurance Crime Bureau VIN check:
copy of the vehicle’s current Ohio title. Take http://bit.ly/fThOb5
it to the title bureau (county in which the car
is titled) and ask for a title history, which lists
the car’s prior owners. The Ohio Bureau
of Motor Vehicles provides free online title
searches at www.dps.state.oh.us/atps. A
free online VIN check service is provided
by the National Insurance Crime Bureau at:
http://bit.ly/fThOb5. Or obtain a vehicle’s FOR MORE CONSUMER INFORMATION
history (for a fee) online through CarFax Inc. OII offers free consumer brochures covering
at www.carfax.com. a variety of homeowners and auto insurance • Crime Prevention Tips For Home
• Verify the seller’s name and address. It is issues, consumer safety tips and insurance
• Crime Prevention Tips For Autos
your responsibility to check all information laws. Visit www.ohioinsurance.org for a variety
regarding the car and the seller. If you think a of consumer-related materials. • Carjacking Prevention Tips
car may be stolen, notify the police. Be sure • Vacation Checklist
to report suspected insurance fraud activity
to the National Insurance Crime Bureau at • Car Buying Tips
http://bit.ly/gyOLXm. • Avoid Buying A Stolen Car
• Online Resources
• 172 E. State St., Suite 201 • Columbus, OH • 43215-4321 •
614.228.1593 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether it’s you, your car or home there are • Cover basement windows with steel mesh • Take advantage of free etching programs
ways to prevent loss and injury. OII offers the secured by long screws or replace the windows offered by car dealerships to prevent theft of VACATION CHECKLIST
following crime prevention tips. with glass block. valuable parts such as your vehicle’s catalytic
• Place security locks on tracks of sliding converter. Suggestions to protect your property
CRIME PREVENTION TIPS FOR THE HOME windows and doors. Most home improvement • Consider installation of a vehicle security while you’re away:
stores carry them. system if your car doesn’t come equipped • Check to see if your community
• Lights, locks and sound are great theft with one.
• Don’t try to ‘trick’ a robber. Security system has a neighborhood house-watch
deterrents. Arrange lights, radios and TVs on
stickers or signage without an actual system • Store your vehicle registration and auto program. Notify local law enforce-
timers in various rooms if you plan to be away.
don’t always serve as a deterrent. insurance ID card in a secure place such ment officials and neighbors before
Burglars typically target quiet, dark houses.
• Organize and publicize a neighborhood as a locked glove compartment. departing. Provide contact informa-
• Mark valuables with your drivers license tion and your cell number so you can
number using an invisible marking pen or crime watch program. Local law enforcement • If your car is stolen, call the police and
can assist in establishing a program. provide the following: license plate number; be reached in case of an emergency.
engraver. Once marked, items lose value for
fencing operations. • Inventory your possessions, including brand year, make, model and color of the car; • Stop mail, newspapers and all deliv-
and model numbers. Store this information Vehicle Identification Number (VIN); time and eries.
• Use deadbolt locks which are more difficult to location of theft; description of anyone seen
jimmy. off-premises. Download free software from • Transfer valuables and cash to a
www.knowyourstuff.org or an inventory form at loitering nearby; and witness information. safe deposit box.
• Lights on. Thieves prefer to work in the dark. Notify your insurance carrier as soon as
http://bit.ly/fRmhto to get started. • Place radios, TVs and lights on tim-
Motion sensor and automatic lights work well possible.
for illumination and safety, and also deter • Secure automatic garage door openers. ers throughout the house for a “lived-
Keep them out of sight, locked in your car or • Never leave your car running and
vandalism. in” look.
glove box. unattended.
• Don’t let a stranger into your home. Ask for • Mute the volume on your phone and
company identification then call to confirm. answering machine so that they can-
CRIME PREVENTION TIPS FOR AUTOS CARJACKING PREVENTION TIPS not be heard by passerbys. Do not
• Install a home security system. A monitored
system can provide additional security. Be sure How can you discourage auto theft? The simplest leave an answering machine mes-
• Think of saving your life. Your car and sage indicating you’re out of town.
to teach family members how to use the system way is to lock your car and keep the keys. Other belongings can be replaced…you can’t. Don’t
including immediate response buttons for fire, tips include: resist an armed suspect. • Arrange for a neighbor/friend to mow
police and medical emergencies. Notify your • Since most auto thefts occur at night, park in the grass or shovel the drive and
insurance company after installation as some • Keep doors locked and windows up
well-lighted areas. watch for deliveries. Having some-
provide a discount for monitored systems. whether in or out of your car.
one check your home occasionally
• When using a parking lot, choose a park-it- • When stopped, allow at least one car
• Keep valuables off-premises in a safe deposit could deter theft.
yourself lot where you keep the keys. Clever length between you and the car in front
box. thieves have been known to copy car keys • Provide your home security system
of you. This provides room to maneuver if it
• Keep trees, shrubs and bushes trimmed to when left behind. company with your vacation and cell
avoid an obstructed view. Tree limbs should numbers along with a local contact.
• For identification purposes, place business • Keep your purse and valuables out of view
not be touching the house. Shrubs should be cards or address labels under floor mats • Close your blinds or curtains to pre-
trimmed 8”–10” below windows. or reach by storing in the trunk.
and down door window openings. vent a direct view into your home.
• Close blinds and curtains to prevent a direct • Don’t stop at isolated locations or ATMs.
• Keep car keys separate from house keys.
view of your belongings. • Keep watch…if you see a stranger
• Use paint or an indelible marker to put approaching your car, drive away as
• Keep yards open and lighted. Some privacy the vehicle identification number (VIN) on
fences provide the seclusion a robber needs. quickly as possible. Walk away from the car if
the engine hood, trunk lid, battery and other outside.
• If you’re gone during the day, arrange to locations on the vehicle.
have packages delivered to work or a neighbor. • Keep your cell phone handy and charged.