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If you Like It, Lock It Campaign || July is declared ‘Watch Your Car’ month

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The Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority recently renamed to the MOTOR VEHICLE CRIMES PREVENTION AUTHORITY, a division of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, reminds drivers that a vehicle is burglarized every two minutes and stolen every eight minutes in the state. These crimes happen to us as citizens when we let our guard down.

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During these times, drivers are more likely to leave belongings within view inside vehicles.  Our busy everyday lives cause some drivers to become negligent in locking doors and taking keys. Thieves also look for personal documents and items that can help them steal your identity or gain access to your home. In other words, the theft or burglary of your vehicle may simply be a gateway to the commission of additional crimes.

Criminals tend to scout parking lots of shopping centers, apartment complexes, movie theaters, and other public parking areas to locate victims. Criminals also walk through residential areas checking door handles of vehicles to find the ones that are unlocked. Unlocked vehicles make an easy target for the criminal, and minimize his chances of being caught while committing the criminal act.  

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, thieves committed 171,152 acts of vehicle burglary and stole 67,658 vehicles in Texas during 2017. (Note: 2018 statistics have not been released) In some jurisdictions, more than half of the vehicles stolen had unlocked doors and keys left inside.  Drivers can avoid becoming part of these statistics. The MCVPA and its 24 vehicle crime task forces in Texas promote a basic vehicle crime prevention philosophy: If you like it – LOCK IT”. 

Motorists should practice three basic safety tips to help prevent theft and burglary throughout the year:  

  1. Remove belongings from view 
  2. Secure vehicles 
  3. Never leave keys inside  

In addition to practicing these prevention methodologies, drivers should park in areas that are well-lit, near surveillance cameras (if available), and near heavy foot and vehicle traffic. The more thieves feel threatened by detection, the less likely they are to focus on targets in such areas.   

The MOTOR VEHICLE CRIMES PREVENTION AUTHORITY (MVCPA) and originally known as the Texas Auto Theft Prevention Authority was created by the Texas Legislature in 1991 to fund programs to reduce vehicle thefts.  The passing of House Bill 1887 in 2007 expanded the scope of the agency to include automobile burglary and added that term to the Authority’s title. For more information on the MVCPA, auto burglary, vehicle theft, prevention, statistics, contacts for any of ABTPA’s 29 Texas vehicle crime task forces, public service information, or to schedule a presentation by task force personnel, call 800-CAR-WATCH or visit the ABTPA website
at www.txwatchyourcar.com.   

From the NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU (NICB) statistics “2017 HOT WHEELS REPORT” here is the list of the currently most stolen vehicles in TEXAS. 

1   Ford Pickup (Full Size) 2006

2   Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) 2004

3   Dodge Pickup (Full Size) 2004

4   GMC Pickup (Full Size) 2017

5   Honda Accord 1997

6   Honda Civic 2000

7   Chevrolet Tahoe 2002

8   Toyota Camry 2016

9   Nissan Altima 2015

10 Toyota Corolla 2016

Finally, on June 14, 2019, Governor Abbott declared JulyWATCH YOUR CAR” month, and July is known for the high rate of car theft and burglaries.