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LIVONIA, Mich., Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The holiday season is upon us and shoppers throughout the state are in search of the perfect gift. But this hectic season often attracts opportunistic criminals, as distracted holiday shoppers are easy targets for vehicle break-ins, carjackings and other auto theft-related crimes.
Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.) is Michigan's statewide auto theft prevention program that coordinates citizen action with law enforcement agencies through a 24/7, confidential toll-free tip line (1-800-242-HEAT) and website (1800242HEAT.com). H.E.A.T. reports that an increased number of auto theft-related crimes occur during the holiday season, and urges shoppers to consider a few simple safety tips to prevent falling victim to auto theft during the holiday season.
"December marks the busiest time of year for most consumers as they shop and cross items off their to-do lists, but don't let that distract you from keeping your vehicle and possessions safe," said Terri Miller, executive director of H.E.A.T. "The holiday season is always a special time of year, but many consumers become careless and vulnerable to theft and holiday crime. It's important to remain diligent and be aware of your surroundings."
The following tips from H.E.A.T. will help shoppers to be more prepared and aware this holiday season:
H.E.A.T. works with Michigan law enforcement agencies to follow-up on tips. Tipsters are awarded up to $1,000 if the tip leads to the arrest of or issuance of a warrant for a suspected car thief or a person suspected of auto theft-related insurance fraud. H.E.A.T. rewards up to $2,000 for information leading to the issuance of a warrant for a carjacking suspect. Rewards of up to $10,000 are issued if a tip results in the arrest and binding over for trial of a suspected theft ring or chop shop operators. The H.E.A.T. tip line is monitored by the Michigan State Police and funded by Michigan's auto insurance companies.
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