C.A.T. - Combat Auto Theft
C.A.T. is a statewide program designed to fight the problem of vehicle theft and is offered free to the public. This voluntary automobile decal registration program authorizes law enforcement officers to make investigative stops of registered vehicles. The program benefits are multifold: deterring vehicle theft, aiding in the recovery of stolen/abandoned vehicles, and aiding in the identification of stolen/abandoned vehicles.
The "Combat Auto Theft Decal Program" is designed to assist law enforcement by identifying vehicles that are not usually driven during the early morning hours. When registering a vehicle, the owner must sign a consent form that certifies the auto is not ordinarily operated between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. This affirmation provides law enforcement with reasonable suspicion that any person found operating a participating vehicle during these hours is in possession of the vehicle without the owner's consent, thus justifying a stop of the vehicle. In fact, it is during these morning hours that many stolen vehicles are on the road.
Vehicle owners may register their vehicles at the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Northeast District Command Center, 863-236-3900, Southwest District Command Center, 863-499-2400, Northwest District Command Center, 863-577-1600, Southeast District Command Center, 863-678-4115, at the Lakeland Branch of AAA Auto Club South or by contacting Crime Prevention Section at 863-298-6677 . Upon registration, a decal will be affixed to the inside lower left rear window or lower left front window (only in cases where the vehicle has no rear window). The decal identifies registration and contains an assigned serial number, which can be cross-referenced with a registration log maintained at the Polk County Sheriff's Office.