TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) — A detective with the Terre Haute Police Department is warning vehicle owners not to make the same mistake one local woman did by making it convenient for crooks to take her car back in December.
Not only did that unidentified woman leave her 2005 Dodge Neon running in the street one cold morning, according to investigators, she was storing her car’s title in the glove compartment; and that title had been endorsed with her own signature.
“All it takes is a pull on (the) door handle, pull open the glove box, and that title is gone,” said THPD Detective Brad Rumsey who is the lead detective on the most recent case right around Christmas time.
Rumsey went on to explain that a signature endorsed car title, legally, means the car’s owner is in the process of selling the vehicle.
“That signature indicates the victim in the case signed the title away,” said Rumsey. “And if it’s signed, and someone else signs as a purchaser, it’s difficult to prove beyond any doubt that that person didn’t buy the car in good faith!”
Rumsey’s best take-away message can be summed up in three parts:
1. No car titles stored inside the car itself, whether signed by the owner or not.
2. Never leave your car, truck or SUV running unattended, especially unattended and unlocked.
3. And understand what your vehicle’s title is and what it means. That simple document, he said, is the best indicator of the vehicle’s owner in the eyes of the law.