Carprowl Prevention

Avoiding Car Break-ins

General Tips

  • Do not leave any valuables in plain sight.
  • Remove or hide anything that a car prowler might mistake as something worth stealing.
  • If valuables must be left behind, hide them out of sight several blocks away before parking.
  • Disable internal trunk releases per your owner's instruction manual.
  • Audible alarms or other theft-deterrent devices can be effective.
  • Remote controls for garages should never be left inside parked vehicles.

Parking Tips

  • Take a moment to observe your surroundings when leaving or returning to your car.
  • If your car is stored in a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior lights on throughout the night.
  • Increase the visibility of parking spaces on residential or business properties by trimming back trees and bushes, and installing motion-detecting lighting.
  • Drivers can help keep thieves out of secure parking garages by taking a few moments to ensure security doors fully close behind them. Contact your building management and advise them to accelerate garage door timers. 
  • If you park on the street, choose a well-lit, open space.
  • If you park your car in a dark or isolated area, you can make a request for a new streetlight if there is an existing pole nearby. Call (206) 684-7056 for more information.

If your vehicle is broken into

File a report by calling the non-emergency number at (206) 625-5011, or file one online at: www.seattle.gov/police/report/.

When filing a report online or over the phone you do not need to remain at the scene.  If you choose to call the non-emergency line, simply ask to report a crime and, if it meets the criteria, the call-taker will forward you to an officer who will take your report over the phone.  The officer will still provide you with a case number.

If the crime is still in progress or it is an emergency situation, call 9-1-1 immediately!