Baltimore County Police Department
Motor Vehicle Theft and Safety Prevention


The purpose of this alert is to provide some suggestions that can reduce your chance of becoming a victim of this type of crime. There are many ways to keep you and your vehicle safe. These are just a few suggestions:

  1. Never leave your keys in your vehicle. If a thief steals your vehicle with the keys inside, they may have the keys to your home, as well as another vehicle.

  2. Never leave valuables or any packages visible in your vehicle.

  3. Park in busy, well lit areas of the parking lot.

  4. Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report.

  5. If you have a garage, use it. When parked in a garage, lock the garage as well as your vehicle, and take your keys inside.

  6. Never leave your vehicle running while parked inside of a garage to warm up. This could be dangerous due to the carbon monoxide that builds as the car idles in an enclosed space.

  7. Never leave your vehicle running unattended. Vehicles are commonly stolen at ATMs, convenience stores, and gas stations etc. Many vehicles are also stolen on cold mornings when the owner leaves the vehicle running to warm it up.

Traffic Article 21-1101(A) states that it is unlawful to leave an unattended vehicle w/o stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key and setting the brake. Fine is $70 and a 1 point violation.


As always, call 9-1-1 if you see anyone attempting to break into a vehicle. Do not intervene, contact 9-1-1 immediately. Provide as much information about the suspect as possible to help the police.

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