14th Police District Crime Prevention Information

Unattended Vehicles



Never leave your vehicle running unattended… in your driveway, on the street, at a gas station, or in a parking lot.

Most push button start vehicles may still be driven without key fob being present. Once the vehicle is started, it will run until it is shut off or runs out of gas. Remember, this technology is a “keyless” convenience only; a running car is still a running car.

It is illegal to leave a vehicle running unattended and can result in a fine.

Philadelphia Traffic Code 12-915

Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic converters are part of a vehicles exhaust system designed to prevent harmful pollutants from entering the atmosphere. Catalytic converters contain precious metals that are valuable to metal dealers.

Thieves can steal these car parts in less than 2 minutes and can be paid hundreds of dollars at scrap yards for these materials.


  • Park in will-lit, high traffic areas when possible.

  • Have mechanic weld catalytic converter to your car’s frame.

  • Consider having VIN number engraved on catalytic converter for identification and to alert scrap yards.

  • Upgrade vehicle alarm

Tire Theft


Tire thieves usually operate during the overnight hours. The best defense is to make your vehicle less of a target. Here are a few suggestions to prevent your tires from being stolen:

  • Park in well lit, high traffic areas. Tire thieves generally prefer dark and secluded areas to operate

  • Install wheel locks. Although wheel locks may not prevent the theft of tires, they may deter or slow down a potential thief

  • Park close to curbs. Removing tires require space, eliminating space may add difficulty when attempting to take tires

  • Consider upgrading vehicle alarm. Standard car alarms usually have only shock sensors for window break or door entry alerts. Consider upgrading to a car alarm equipped with tire or tilt sensors that will activate when vehicle is lifted.


Disability Parking Placards Theft


Thieves are targeting vehicles with disability parking placards left in plain sight.

(The following are suggestions only and will not guarantee theft prevention)

  • Lock all doors and windows

  • If not parked in a disabled spot, do not leave placard displayed in vehicle.

  • Avoid leaving placard displayed in vehicle overnight.

  • Apply for a disability license (consult with physician).

If your placard is lost or stolen, you can replace it by visiting a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Center and completing a “Person with Disability Parking Placard” application (Form MV-145A). This application can also be obtained online at dmv.pa.gov under the “Forms and Publications” section. No fee required to apply.

Licence Plate Theft


Periodically check your license plate to ensure that it is there, and it is your plate. Criminals will steal your license plate and may place another stolen license plate onto your vehicle. Criminals will steal your license plate to commit crimes and deceive police.

An inexpensive way to secure your license plate is to replace the standard “Phillips” or “Flat Head” screws with anti-theft screws (sold at local auto part stores) that will prevent the average criminal from taking your plate.

***If your license plate is stolen, immediately report it to police and your local PennDot Vehicle Services Center to prevent fraudulent activity and/or ticketing.

Bicycle Theft


Never leave bicycles unattended while going into homes, stores, or common areas such as parks or playgrounds.

  • Use a high quality U-Lock. Place lock through frame and wheel. Remove quick-release wheel and secure it to frame with other wheel (if applicable). Additional locks (cable or chain) are helpful.

  • Always lock your bike and wheels to a secure fixed object.

  • Do not leave any parts or components that can be easily removed (i.e., bags, lights, quick-release seats, etc…)

  • Do not leave bicycles unsecured in backyards or on sides of home.