The recent theft of a handicapped placard from an unlocked vehicle is prompting the Rochester Police Department’s Crime Prevention Specialist to remind users to keep their placards out of sight when they are not in use.

Darrel Hildebrant said he was sending a note to senior citizens to “take them in or hide them well.”

“We want people to keep tabs of their placards because they are hard to come by and you need a doctor’s prescription to get them,” Hildebrant said.

To keep placards out of the hands of thieves, Hildrebrant recommends making sure they are well hidden if they are kept inside a vehicle when not in use. It’s also important to lock the vehicle, he said.

He said that if a placard user tends to keep it stored in the visor, the owner should make sure no part of it can be seen. Hildebrant also recommended finding another location to hide the placard other than the visor, center console or glove compartment.

Keeping the placard in a purse or bag is a better bet, Hildebrant said — not only to keep it safe, but also because the placard is portable — it may used by the owner even if they are riding in someone else’s car.