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Safety Alerts & Tips


Warmer weather coupled with a challenging economy are leading to an increase in vehicle break-ins. Parking lots, including those in the forest preserves, are prime locations for these crimes. Every vehicle that has been burglarized had a valuable item left inside.

The Lake County Forest Preserves Ranger Police are reminding the public that during difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to take additional precautions to protect against vehicle break-ins. Ranger police are strongly urging preserve visitors to lock car doors, close windows, and keep personal property out of plain view, take it with you, or leave it at home.

It takes less than a minute to break a car window, unlock the door and remove items left inside. Often there are no witnesses to these offenses because of the ease and speed. These larcenies can be prevented with a little foresight and planning. If visitors see suspicious persons, vehicles, or activities, they should call 847-549-5200 immediately. 

The simple act of placing valuables in the trunk of your car and out of plain view before you arrive at your destination can significantly reduce the likelihood of being a victim of auto burglary. A laptop, cell phone, GPS, wallet, purse, or even a cup holder full of change can tempt a would-be thief. You may believe that leaving these items on the floorboard or under the seat and covering over them will keep them safe, but instead it just broadcasts that you may be concealing something of value in your car.

Prepare and be aware, by incorporating these simple crime prevention tips into your daily life. Download and print this Theft Prevention Tips card, and keep it with you as a reminder.

The following Theft Prevention Tips are provided courtesy of your Lake County Forest Preserves Ranger Police.

Conceal and Secure

  • Secure your valuables. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't broadcast your movements when hiding valuables. As you arrive at your destination, whether it’s a forest preserve, grocery store, or shopping mall, be aware that someone may be watching as you put valuables under your seat. Instead, secure them in your trunk or glove box before you arrive at your destination, hide them completely out of sight, or take them with you when you leave your car.
  • Vehicle registration. Black out the address on your registration and photocopy it. Keep the copy, not the original, in your car. You must be able to present it to a police officer upon request.
  • Personal information attached to keys. If stolen, having personal information or a vehicle license number attached to your keys only compounds the problem. A criminal now has access to your home, automobile or office.
  • Personal mail. Don’t leave it in your car. 
  • Garage door opener. Keep it out of sight. 

Lock It Up

  • Always lock your vehicle and take your keys with you, even for quick errands.
  • Never leave your vehicle running.
  • Lock your vehicle’s trunk, hatchback or tailgate.
  • Close all windows and doors, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs.
  • Buy—and use—a vehicle alarm. You may think no one notices alarms anymore, but they are effective deterrents to thieves looking for an easy target.

Park Safely

  • If you have a garage, park and lock your car in it, and lock your garage doors. Always lock your car when it’s parked in the driveway.
  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Park in an area visible to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
  • Before entering your vehicle, scan the surrounding area, and always check the interior and the floor and rear seat areas.



Help us help you. Email your best safety tip to

Take part in our Preserve Watch program and alert us to any unusual activity you may see on forest preserve property.

Contact Us

For questions, permits or citation information, call our Ranger Police Department at 847-968-3404, weekdays, 6:30 am–3 pm.

To report an emergency, call 911. 

For nonemergency public safety issues, call the Lake County Sheriff's Department at 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger.

Forest Preserve Police Officers regularly patrol the preserves and can offer assistance.