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You better watch out- Car Thieves want your holiday gifts

By Lt. David Moore, Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force

MONTGOMERY COUNTY – During the holiday season, Santa may not be the only one watching you. Thieves may be watching you and your car, especially if it is filled with holiday gifts and other valuables, left in plain sight. Consumers need to be aware that the holidays are a prime time for thieves to strike.

Every 2 1/2 minutes in Texas, another vehicle is broken into and the contents stolen. In 2008, thieves committed 259,705 burglary of motor vehicle offenses in Texas, including stolen motor vehicle parts, accounting for an economic loss totaling over $184,000,000.

“The holidays should be filled with happiness, spending time with family and friends and shopping for that perfect gift, not worrying about car thieves,” said Charles Caldwell, director of the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority. “During the busy holiday shopping season, shoppers may overlook common sense precautions, especially when dealing with crowded parking lots and rushing from store to store.”

This holiday season hundreds of law enforcement task force representatives, funded by the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA), will be out in their communities, reminding Texans that wherever they are, car thieves are too, so they need to take better safety measures to secure their valuables.

There are a few easy steps that can help make sure your holiday gifts wind up in the right hands. In addition to parking in well lit areas, you need to hide your gifts, lock your car, and take your keys.

For a free brochure on vehicle burglary and theft prevention safety tips, call 800-CAR-WATCH or go to http://www.co.montgomery.tx.us/autotheft.

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