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Proof of Insurance Stored on Your Mobile Device? / Thank you Kiwanis Club of Los Altos / Property Crime on Wednesday / TIPS!

Do you have a digital version of your proof of vehicle insurance?  APD Officers will accept proof of vehicle insurance when provided by a citizen in digital format in the same manner as a paper version.  During a traffic stop or other encounter with an APD Officer if you are asked to provide the Officer proof of vehicle insurance and it’s stored on a mobile device, let the Officer know and the Officer will direct you to hold the device with the document visible so that the Officer can read the document.

I get asked about digital versions of proof of vehicle insurance at almost every community I attend, and this information should add some clarity to the issue.  As I like to recommend, carry the paper version of your vehicle registration and insurance with you (in your wallet for example) to avoid the chance of these documents being stolen during an auto theft or auto burglary.  The documents need to be in the vehicle when it’s being operated, but they are not required to be in the vehicle when it parked.  Vehicle registration and insurance documents are stolen frequently (see today’s auto burglary recap below), so making it a habit to carry those items with you will be an added layer of protection for you.

Thank you Kiwanis Club of Los Altos for inviting me to speak to your group this morning.  I hope everyone left with a sense of empowerment regarding crime prevention and new ways to deter a criminal from viewing your property as an easy target.

Property Crimes Reported on Wednesday, June 14th in the Foothills Area Command (and TIPS!)

1 Armed Robbery/Carjacking:  200-block of Figueroa SE.  TIP:  Do not give rides to strangers …  do not give rides to strangers … do not give rides to strangers…

1 Armed Robbery to a Business:  300-block of Eubank Blvd SE.

1 Armed Robbery to an Individual:  6200-block of Eubank Blvd NE.

3 Stolen Vehicles:  700-block of Sagewood Court NE, 13200-block of Camino Del Norte NE, 600-block of Paisano NE.

1 Commercial Burglary:  11900-block of Central NE.

3 Residential Burglaries:  14300-block of Windsor Pl NE, 800-block of Shirley NE, 600-block of Jane St NE.  Entries:  Unlocked window, garage, unsecured doggie door.  Items stolen:  Jewelry and prescription pain medication.

TIPS:  Secure ALL access points to your home — this includes doggie doors, windows, garages.  Most of us let our guard down during the warm weather months when it comes to leaving windows and garages open.  Make it your personal habit to check all access points at your residence and add secondary locks or mechanisms to prevent sliding or lifting windows out of tracks. Check your window screens — if torn, loose or shredded, they need to be replaced.  Secure the doggie door if you are not using it — doggie doors are viewed as access points into homes by criminals.  Keep that garage door closed.  Lock the deadbolt that most of our homes have on the door from the garage into the home.  The garage is the biggest door to your home and the doggie door may be the smallest door into your home, but both still need to be secured.  Prescription Meds:  The APD Foothills Substation at 12800 Lomas Blvd NE has a secure drop box for safe, environmentally friendly prescription medication disposal.  Our substation is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the front office staff can assist you with the procedure.  APD has staff who stop off at the substation to take away the medications so that they are safely disposed of in a secured facility.

2 Auto Burglaries:  400-block of Burma Rd NE, 10200-block of Norman Rd NE.  Entries:  Pried open door.  Items stolen:  Vehicle registration and insurance paperwork.

TIPS:  See above about storing proof of insurance on a mobile device if your insurance provider has that option.  Keep the paper proof of insurance card and vehicle registration with you.  These items are often stolen from vehicles along with garage door openers to commit further crimes like residential burglary or to piece together an identity theft profile and commit white collar crime.

Be safe,

Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command