The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

July 9, 2014

Owners urged to guard against vehicle thefts

PALESTINE —

Law enforcement officials are reminding the public that July is “Watch Your Car Month.” In Texas, a vehicle is stolen every eight minutes.

 

Historically, more vehicle thefts and burglaries occur in Texas during summer months, which is why the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority declared July “Watch Your Car Month.”

 

During “Watch Your Car Month,” representatives within various vehicle crime task forces work in their communities reminding Texas drivers that they must protect their vehicles and all possessions inside to avoid falling victim to thieves.

 

“If you don't lock your car or leave your keys in the ignition, you are asking to be a victim of crime,” Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor told the Herald-Press. “Don't take it for granted that it won't happen to you. You would be amazed how many people leave their cars unlocked. Even in your own driveway, it's not safe. There are criminals that walk up and down the road looking for unlocked cars.”

 

Taylor also reminded residents to keep valuables out of sight in their car.

 

“More cars are stolen in this county than in the past — the (Anderson County) Sheriff's Office averages about 30 a year and the police department has some as well,” Taylor said.

 

Any vehicle is a potential target, and those most stolen are at least five years old. In 2013, the most targeted makes/models in Texas included: 1. Ford pickup; 2. Chevrolet pickup; 3. Dodge pickup; 4. Chevrolet Tahoe; 5. Honda Civic.

 

If drivers are leaving themselves vulnerable to theft, they are encouraged to change their behavior in order to avoid vehicle criminals. In addition, drivers should recognize that thieves want to strike in locations where car owners are most likely to leave belongings and be separated from our vehicles for longer periods of time. Those places may include homes, malls, gyms, movie theaters, hotels — even places of worship, according to the ABTPA news release.

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