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City ideas that work.

Automobile thieves would be wise to steer clear of Dayton, Ohio.

To combat a growing car theft problem, the city launched Beat Auto Theft.

Participating residents register their cars with the Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit and sign a waiver from stating that the vehicle is not normally driven between the hours of 1"00 and 5:00 a.m. (Most stolen cars are taken between the hours of 12:00 and 6:00 a.m.)

Police then affix a special glow-in-the-dark BAT decal to the front and rear windshields.

The decal alerts authorities that a car may be stolen if it is seen on the road during the early morning hours. The signed waiver gives the owner's consent for officers to stop the vehicle and determine if it is being driven without authorization.

BAT decals also create an additional obstacle for thieves, as they are difficult to remove.

Car owners who lend their vehicles to others are expected to advise them that they are participating in BAT and are subject to being temporarily detained if they drive during target hours.

Participants are responsible for removing decals and notifying police when the car is sold or if they choose to withdraw from the program.

BAT can also aid in identifying stolen and abandoned vehicles and serve as a tool in improving police/community relations.

Dayton held public sign-ups to kick off the program, which was greeted with "tremendous response from the citizens," according to its coordinator, Detective Judy Abshire.

Patterned after a highly successful program in use in New York since 1986, BAT is voluntary and there is no cost to participating citizens.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Beat Auto Theft program in Dayton, Ohio features glow-in-the-dark BAT decals
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 27, 1992
Words:273
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