Safety Tips

Adapted from information provided by the Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD)

Stay alert! If you see something, say something! Call 911 for emergencies or crimes in progress. Metro Crime Stoppers: 1-866-7LOCKUP (1-866-756-2587).

The 9 pm Routine

  • Remove keys, wallets, cash, garage door openers and other valuables from cars.
  • Make sure vehicle doors and windows and home doors and windows are locked.
  • Turn on outside lights.
  • Close garage doors.

Photo courtesy of BCPD

Package Thefts

Protect yourself from porch pirates.

  • Ask shippers to deliver packages on a specific date and time, preferably when you will be home.
  • If you are not home during the day, have packages delivered to a location where it can be received in person, such as the home of a trusted neighbor who is home during the day.
  • Ask shippers to hold your package at its pick-up facility until you can pick it up.
  • Provide delivery instructions to the shipper to leave the package at a safe location at your home that can’t be seen from the street.
  • If your employer allows it, have the package delivered to your place of employment.
  • Consider mounting a visible surveillance camera and security company sign near your front door.

Photo courtesy of

Thefts from Cars

In just seconds, a thief can enter your unlocked car and steal your belongings.

  • Lock your car.
  • Close your windows and sunroof.
  • Do not leave valuables visible in your car.
  • Place packages and shopping bags in the trunk.
  • Never leave a running car unattended.
  • Don’t leave a spare key in the car.

Photo courtesy of

Hyundai and Kia Thefts

Recently, there has been an increase in stolen Hyundais and Kias. Once the thief has gained access to the inside of the vehicle, they can use a USB cable to start the key ignition. This does not work on push-to-start vehicles.

  • Install an alarm system and anti-theft devices, like wheel locks. Baltimore City has distributed wheel locks to car owners who are City residents (must show vehicle registration). Call the Northern District at 410-396-2455 to find out more.
  • Install a vehicle immobilizer system or tracking system.
  • Lock your doors and take your keys.
  • Don’t leave a spare key in the car.
  • Close your windows and sunroof.
  • Don’t leave valuables in the car.
  • Park in well-lit areas. Avoid parking where the car is concealed by bushes, a fence, etc. Thieves use that to their advantage.
  • Never leave a running car unattended.

Photo: Bianca Moore,


Carjacking Hotspots

  • Residential driveways
  • Parking lots and garages
  • Gas stations
  • ATMs
  • Streets with low lighting


  • Be aware of your surroundings, particularly when getting into and out of your car.
  • Remove your headphones.
  • Park in well-lit places.
  • Keep your windows rolled up and doors locked.
  • Don’t count money or show valuables while seated in the car.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full at all times and maintain the tire pressure and wear on your tires.
  • Map out your route and plan ahead for trips. Appearing lost, asking for directions, being distracted by maps or your GPS can be a tip-off to potential criminals.
  • Check your mirrors regularly for anyone that might be following you.
  • When parking at a business, park as close to the entrance as possible and where there is the most light. Don’t sit in your car on the phone in a parking lot.
  • In a parking garage, park as close as possible to the exit and back into the space.
  • Never leave a running car unattended.
  • Keep your cell phone in your pocket so you can quickly dial 911.
  • Do not stop for motorists stranded along the road. Note their position and dial 911 immediately.
  • Trust your Instincts. If you sense that something is awry, leave the area.

Scenario: Bump and Run

A driver with at least one passenger collides with your vehicle. As soon as you exit the vehicle to examine the damage, it is taken.

Tip: Remain inside your vehicle with the windows and door closed and locked. Put on your flashers, signal the driver to follow you, and drive to the nearest police station if you feel threatened.

If you are the victim of a carjacking…

  • Avoid physical and verbal confrontations.
  • Make a mental note of the suspects and their vehicles. 
  • If a carjacker accosts you, give up your car and leave the scene.

Additional Resources

  • Baltimore 311, to report a problem, request a service, check the status of a previously submitted service request and obtain information regarding City programs or events
  • Baltimore City Police Department
  • B’More Alert, to sign up for phone calls, text messages, emails and other notifications of natural or human-induced disasters, pandemics, weather related events and emergencies