West Chester police urge drivers to ‘get the fob out’

“Get the Fob Out,” the West Chester Police Dept. is warning — with an explanation.

The department says it aims to remind drivers of key-less vehicles that, when parked or left unattended, they must secure their vehicle and their valuables.

“Get the fob out” means:

  • Always take your key fob and/or car keys out of the vehicle and keep with you in a safe place, away from where you’ve parked the car. Keys and fobs left behind in the vehicle or nearby, even for just a moment, dramatically increase the likelihood of your car and its contents being stolen.
  • Absolutely never leave your car running if you’re not there with it. Not when going inside to pay for your gas. Not when checking into your hotel. Not when running to get your kids to and from day care. Just don’t do it.
  • Don’t ever leave valuables in your vehicle when you can help it. If necessary, stow items in your trunk and completely out of sight. Covering purses, wallets, laptops or cell phones will not cut it. Take these items with you when you go.
  • Get the firearms out, too. Guns are one of the first thing criminals look for when ransacking an unsecured vehicle. Don’t risk being in violation of Ohio Revised Code (section 2923.16), which limits the transport and use of firearms in a motor vehicle. Instead, take guns with you when you take your keys and lock weapons away for safekeeping.
  • Close and secure all entry points into your home and garage. This applies no matter whether you are at home with your vehicle or away.

If you see someone carelessly leaving car keys behind, tell them to get the fob out. The West Chester Police Dept. asks residents to spread the word with hashtag #GetTheFobOut on social media.

In the early fall months, the region saw a significant number of car thefts within a short period of time and in every case the keys or key fob were left in the car making the criminals’ work easy, according to the West Chester Police.

“We’re working with our neighboring law enforcement agencies to investigate these thefts, but also want to remind the community that taking some simple steps could go a long way in stopping the thefts,” Police Chief Joel Herzog said. “The #GetTheFobOut campaign is intended to put a fresh spin on a message that bears repeating.”

Despite making significant progress toward stopping crimes of opportunity, West Chester Police recommend residents take precaution and be proactive.

The West Chester Police Department offers several ways for community members to stay engaged:

  • See something, say something. To report suspicious people or activity in West Chester, call the West Chester Police Department. Save the non-emergency number in your cell phone: 513-777-2231. In an emergency, dial 911. Tips can also be submitted online in a non-emergency.
  • Join the Security Camera Alliance. By registering your home security and doorbell cameras with West Chester Police, you can help police identify and catch criminals, while reducing crime on your street. Registration is free and voluntary.
  • Connect with West Chester Police on the Nextdoor app. Police use Nextdoor to share news, announcements, tips and more information directly with those who have a West Chester address. Stay tuned for relevant information related to where you live.
  • Check the Crime Spotters page to review new cases and alerts. West Chester Police actively seek information and regularly post about unsolved crimes and current scams affecting the community. Bookmark the page and revisit frequently.
  • And, of course, #GetTheFobOut.

For more from the West Chester Police Department, visit www.WestChesterOH.org/Police.

About the Author