Department of Public Safety

Motor Vehicle Safety & Theft Prevention

Brown community members who use cars should follow certain steps to avoid theft of personal items within the car as well as stay safe while entering cars or parking areas.

Vehicles parked along city streets and in dark and isolated areas can be targeted for theft. These thefts are referred to as "smash and grabs".  Valuables left in plain view in the vehicle generate motivation for criminals to quickly break a window and grab them. Therefore, always keep valuables out of plain view when parking your vehicle.  Store items under seats or in the trunk and remove all GPS accessories and parts from plain view when parking your vehicle.  Otherwise, take your valuables with you.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

  • Have your keys ready when approaching your vehicle, and do a quick scan of your rear seat before getting in.
  • Be alert to any activity near your vehicle.
  • Be aware of people who may be following you to your vehicle.
  • Recognize that carjacking can occur anytime, anywhere, in any neighborhood. Lock your doors when inside.

Be Alert To Potential Dangers

  • Exercise caution when people approach your vehicle requesting directions, change, or giving out flyers.
  • When stopping in traffic, leave enough distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you so you can pull away quickly if needed.
  • Be alert when approaching drive-up automated teller machines.
  • In case of a vehicle breakdown, call the police for help and use great caution when approached by unknown individuals. 

You Will Be Safer If You Avoid Certain Situations

  • Don't get out of your vehicle if you witness suspicious circumstances. Drive away and call the police if necessary.
  • Avoid using ATM's at night, especially if you see people loitering nearby.
  • Never leave the keys in the ignition or the vehicle running for any reason.
  • Never leave small children unattended in your vehicle.
  • Avoid parking in secluded, poorly lit areas.

Certain Actions Will Help Keep You Safe

  • Don't drive without locking your doors.
  • Consider installation of an alarm system. Audible alarms could prevent your vehicle from being broken into or stolen.
  • Keep all valuables out of sight when parking your vehicle.
  • When having your vehicle serviced, or cleaned, remove your house keys from the key ring.
  • If someone demands your car keys, don't resist. Nothing is more valuable than your life.
  • Try to keep a cellular phone accessible when driving.
  • Keep a pen and notebook accessible in your vehicle to write down important information about suspicious circumstances.

Reporting Suspicious Vehicles

If you see any suspicious vehicles loitering around campus parking lots, please notify the DPS immediately at (401) 863-3322 or x3-3322.