Statement from Sgt. Ray Fong of Livingston:

In the past few weeks we have had several cars stolen in the city. This comes after many months of not having any cars stolen. Most of the cars have been taken from the Foster Farms employee parking lot but others were from other locations in town.To counter this, there are several actions we can take to protect our cars but first, the most commonly stolen cars are 1980’s through early 2000’s Honda Accords and Civics. The earlier cars had a faulty design in their ignition lock that thieves are very aware of and take advantage of. The later models could be taken using shaved keys, similar to a master key used for locks. If you own one of these cars you need to be extra careful and take extra steps in protecting your car. If you are looking to buy a car, these are the cars to avoid.

The easiest anti-theft device is a hidden Kill-switch. Basically a way to disconnect the battery from the ignition so the car will not start. Many car alarms have this option but alarms can be quite pricey. Another trick we used to use back in the 80’s was to remove the steering wheel but this takes a bit of mechanical know how. Some people will install a flashing LED light on the dashboard to imitate the light that a car alarm would have to show it was armed.

Position of your car is very important. Always try to park where there is as much traffic, either foot or vehicle, as possible and in a lighted area. Parking near security cameras is a very strong deterrent. At home, park your car in the garage especially if it is one of the above mentioned cars. There does not seem to be a difference between parking in your driveway or on the street when it comes to vehicle thefts. Parking in the driveway in concert with a motion sensing flood light will provide some deterrence.

Lastly, we as a community need to be aware of what is going on around us. If you see a suspicious person when go to work or go home, call us and let us know what you saw. Many times car thieves arrive in stolen cars so if you can give us the license plate of a suspicious car or person we can see if it might be thieves. If you see people you are not familiar with hanging around your neighborhood, especially at night, please give us a call with as much information as you can gather. If you can give our dispatcher a general description, clothing details and how many people there are, it will give us a huge upper hand when we arrive. Don’t ever feel you are inconveniencing us, we live to fight crime and would rather take several calls that turn out to be nothing than have to respond to a call about your property being stolen.