Looking for a way to keep your vehicle safe? Look no further than your local police department if you live in Maryland.
The Anne Arundel County Police Department is just one of a few that would like to remind residents about Maryland's Watch Your Car Program, which is part of a nationwide effort to reduce car thefts.
According to the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (MVTP), a car is stolen every 40 minutes in Maryland and every 45 seconds nationwide. Data also reveals that 50 percent of stolen vehicles had the keys inside, 60 percent were left unlocked and 95 percent had no anti-theft devices. More than 66 percent of vehicle thefts happen overnight, according to the website.
The MVTPC administers the program that residents can sign up for online or at their local police station.The application states the vehicle is not normally used between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., which gives permission for a police officer to verify the driver's identity or if they have permission to drive that vehicle on the road. After a person registers, they will receive two window decals for the front and back windows.
"This is really a great deterrent," said Marc Limansky, spokesperson for the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
It is not clear how many of the decals are already out there, but the department hopes more people who are not on the road overnight use them. If not, there are three key things everyone should keep in mind.
"Lock your car, it's the number one factor when a car is stolen," Limansky said.
"Take your valuables out of the car or put them out of site and never leave your car unattended or running."