AUSTIN The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans that the holiday season can be a prime time for vehicle thefts and is encouraging individuals to take necessary precautions to protect their vehicles from possible theft. Burglaries of vehicles are also a concern during the entire holiday season.
DPS is urging Texans to make sure their vehicles and belongings are secure in order to ward off possible thefts and burglaries during the holidays, said DPS Director Steven McCraw. December is one of the busiest months for auto thefts, and during this holiday shopping season, it is important that any valuables in a vehicle are out of sight.
In December 2013, 5,395 automobiles, pickups and motorcycles were recorded stolen, making it the third-highest month for vehicle thefts that year behind July and August. In addition, more than 13,100 vehicle burglaries were reported and $12.2 million in property stolen last December.
DPS offers the following tips that Texans can follow to help guard against vehicle theft:
Never leave your car running unattended, even for a quick visit to a business or store.
Never leave keys in the car or ignition, inside a locked garage, or in hide-a-key boxes.
Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is parked at your home.
When possible, always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas.
Install an anti-theft device that locks the steering wheel, column or brakes, especially if your vehicle is considered to be at increased risk for theft.
Never leave personal documents, vehicle ownership title or credit cards in your vehicle.
Always keep valuables or property hidden out of sight or locked in the trunk.
If your vehicle is stolen, report it to the police immediately. DPS also encourages individuals to keep a copy of their license plate and vehicle identification number on hand in case of theft, since police will need this information to take a report.
For more information about auto thefts and burglary, see http://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/consumer-protection/auto-theft-prevention.