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Police Services

Auto Theft Prevention

A degree takes years. Vehicle theft takes seconds.


The Central Washington University Police Department encourages you to report suspicious activities. Crime prevention is a partnership between law enforcement and the community. If you see questionable activities, call 911 and report them immediately. The vehicle theft that you prevent could be your own.

The Central Washington University Police Department has been given a unique opportunity.  The Washington Auto Theft Prevention Association has awarded the CWU Police Department a grant to educate the public on preventing auto theft. This is a unique opportunity since CWU does not have a high number of auto thefts, but the population is primarily comprised of individuals who arrive from areas with high levels of auto thefts. 

The CWU Police Department provides a community based police force that is dedicated to educating and protecting society.

Why are vehicles stolen?
  • For parts: Radios, engines, tail-lights, etc.
  • For use in other crimes
  • To be used in exchange for illegal drugs
  • So the car owner can commit insurance fraud
CWU Auto Theft Statistics
  • Most vehicles stolen at CWU are for a chop shop.
  • Most stolen vehicles at CWU are taken at night.
  • The majority of vehicle stolen from CWU are not recovered in working condition.

Why was my vehicle chosen?

Theft is a crime of opportunity. Most often, there are steps you can take to prevent vehicle theft or vehicle prowls. Throughout the year, CWU Police provide programs that teach you how to better protect yourself and your belongings, and how to not become a target. 

Tips to protect yourself

  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle
  • Never leave your car running unattended, not even for a minute
  • Don't leave a duplicate key on the outside of your vehicle
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle
  • Completely close all your windows and lock your doors every time
  • Use an anti-theft device


Dispelled Myths

  • No one wants to steal my vehicle.
    • In today's market, even scrap metal is worth something.
  • My insurance will cover my stolen vehicle.
    • Most insurance companies don't replace your vehicle.
  • I will only be a minute.
    • Most cars are stolen while they are running unattended or with that car's key.
  • So the car owner can commit insurance fraud