Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force Detective Clay Swilling arrested a Conroe man who was driving a stolen vehicle on Thursday after the vehicle’s owner spotted it in the area of Duck Creek Road in East Montgomery County and called 911. A nearby Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy stopped and detained the driver until Detective Swilling responded to the scene and took 33-year-old Michael Kawolski, of Conroe, into custody.
Kawolski is no stranger to law enforcement. He was released from prison less than two months ago for possession of body armor, and has multiple prior convictions including theft, possession of marijuana and manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance.
Kawolski is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Since his arrest, Kawolski’s parole has been revoked. He is held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail.
Lt. David Moore who heads up the MCSO Auto Theft Task Force said the incident was another example of why his division is participating in the annual Watch Your Car month, which encourages people to be more responsible with their vehicles to prevent thefts and burglaries. Since July 1, countless Montgomery County residents have been educated about protecting their property, in a variety of ways.
One public education tool took a lot of vehicle owners by surprise, and definitely got their attention. Lt. Moore said the Auto Theft Task Force wrote 500 mock citations when they checked random cars parked in North, East, South and West Montgomery County. The fake tickets were issued for careless behavior such as leaving keys in the ignition, leaving vehicles unlocked and leaving valuables in plain sight which are major contributors to automobile theft and burglary.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Uniform Crime Reporting, 85,411 vehicles were stolen in Texas in 2008, representing an economic loss of nearly 750 million dollars. The top five stolen vehicles in Texas are: Ford Pickup, Chevy Pickup, Dodge Pickup, Honda Civic, and the Honda Accord. There were also 259,705 thefts from motor vehicles in Texas in 2008.
For more information about preventing the vehicle theft and burglary, visit the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority at: http://www.txdmv.gov/protection/auto_theft.htm