The holiday season is here and everybody is busy checking their list making sure they have something for their family and friends to give to this Christmas. Unfortunately so do thieves. Every two minutes, a vehicle is burglarized in Texas and obviously these crimes escalate at this time of the year when people increase their shopping and forget to take the necessary precautions to keep their vehicles and belongings locked and secured.
“Auto burglars are more likely to scout malls, shopping centers, entertainment venues, hotels and other business parking lots this time of the year waiting for the opportunity to break into a vehicle. Within seconds, they take your belongings, identity and sometimes your car”, said Lieutenant David Moore of the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force. “Drivers need to understand that leaving their belongings in plain view inside their vehicles help auto burglars and thieves to do their job better.”
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, thieves committed 221,023 acts of vehicle burglary and stole 64,982 vehicles in Texas during 2012. In Montgomery County, 1315 cases of motor vehicle burglary were reported in 2012 and 651 stolen vehicle. The Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA) and the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force promote a basic vehicle prevention philosophy: “Protect it, It’s Yours”. Also, we offer three basic safety tips to motorist to prevent these crimes during the holidays, and all year round: secure your car, keep your belongings out of sight and have your keys with you at all times.
The Texas Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) 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. The legislation also amended the Texas Penal Code by increasing the conviction of burglary of a motor vehicle punishable as a state jail felony for those previously convicted two or more times of burglary of a vehicle.
For a free booklet on auto burglary and theft prevention tips, available in English & Spanish, call 800-CAR-WATCH, or go to www.txwatchyourcar.com, or contact the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force at 936-760-5847.