Albany Police launching“Lock It Up” Campaign to prevent stolen vehicles


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Albany Police will have an education and enforcement campaign to prevent drivers from becoming victims of vehicle theft. The campaign will focus on drivers who leave their vehicle running unattended with the keys in the ignition or unlocked with valuables inside.

So far in 2021:

  • 5% of motor vehicles reported stolen were left unlocked and 27% of those were left running unattended.
  • 3% of vehicles broken into and had items stolen from them were reported to be left unlocked.

“Most incidents of motor vehicle theft are crimes of opportunity and in many cases can be prevented by simply ‘locking it up,’ said Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins. “With cool weather upon us, we want to remind our community to not leave their vehicle running unattended with the keys in the ignition and take the necessary precautions to prevent situations where they could be victimized.”

On Monday, November 22, Albany police officers will begin handing out education material and talking to drivers who leave their cars running and unattended. Prevention tips will also be shared on the Department’s social media platforms, with Albany’s neighborhood associations and other various stakeholders.

Leaving your vehicle running unattended with the keys in the ignition is a violation of Section 1210 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.

After a two-week education period, officers will begin issuing traffic tickets to drivers who leave their vehicle running unattended with keys in the ignition. Those ticketed could face a fine up to $150 as well as a court-imposed surcharge.

How to prevent someone from stealing your vehicle

  • Lock It
  • Never leave your vehicle running unattended.
  • Don’t leave spare keys in or around your vehicle
  • Turn your vehicle off and always lock your car, even when making brief stops
  • Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, even when making brief stops.
  • Consider investing in a remote car starter to warm or cool your vehicle during the seasons.
  • Memorize the make, model, color and plate number of your vehicles to assist police in the event of a theft.

How to prevent someone from breaking into your car

  • Always Lock It Up
  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Close all windows and sunroof when parked.
  • Take all valuables out of your vehicle (or place in trunk when applicable) and don’t leave them in plain view.
    • Cell phones
    • Purses/Wallets
    • Money or credit cards
    • Jewelry
  • Consider installing an audible alarm

To report an incident of motor vehicle theft contact the Albany Police Department at 518-438-4000. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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