Follow These Tips to Protect Your Vehicle from Thieves During the Holidays
The Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA), a division of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, is urging drivers to protect their vehicles during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
According to the ABTPA, a vehicle is burglarized every two minutes and stolen every eight minutes in the state, and that this escalates during the holidays.
Just as we prepare to shop during the holidays, so too are thieves looking to shop us. While we're our shopping at stores and malls, thieves will be looking at our cars and homes for valuables.
"Auto burglars are more likely to scout malls, shopping centers, entertainment venues, hotels, and other business parking lots this time of year looking for opportunities to break into vehicles," said Michelle Lanham, program coordinator for ABTPA’s Reduce Auto Theft in Texas (RATT) public awareness task force at Denton Police Department. "Drivers need to understand that almost anything they leave inside their vehicles can be valuable to a thief. And when vehicles are left unlocked and unattended, drivers are inviting thieves to walk away with everything they see inside, which often includes gifts, purses, wallets, packages, electronics, suitcases, garage door openers, keys, and personal information."
So, how do you make your vehicle less of a target?
Even though it's tempting to start your car and then go back inside your home to let the engine warm up, the Texas DMV warns against doing so. That is exactly what car thieves are looking for in the early morning hours.
And if you own a Ford, Chevy and Dodge pickup truck, be extra careful. These models topped the list for the most stolen vehicles in 2013.
Other tips from the Texas DMV are: Give parking attendants the ignition key only; park in a well-lit areas; hide your valuables; and make sure you've installed an anti-theft device.
Follow these tips this holiday season so the crooks won't be shopping you!