TYLER (KYTX)- Historically, more vehicle thefts and burglaries occur in Texas during summer months, which is why the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA) has declared July "Watch Your Car Month."
In 2012, reported vehicle thefts in Texas totaled 64,982, which means a car was stolen every eight minutes. Any vehicle is a potential target, and those most stolen are at least four years old. In 2013, the most targeted makes/models in Texas included:
- Ford Pickup
- Chevrolet Pickup
- Dodge Pickup
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Honda Civic.
Vehicle thieves are looking for opportunities. And unfortunately, many drivers aid thefts by leaving doors unlocked and keys inside. Once a vehicle is stolen, any number of additional offenses could take place. The vehicle may be used to commit another crime. It may be operated erratically and involved in an accident. It may be dismantled so the parts can be sold to fund other crimes ranging from drug use to terrorism.
In 2012, reported vehicle burglaries in Texas totaled 221,023, which means parts or contents were stolen every two minutes. Much like thefts involving the entire vehicle, drivers often unintentionally assist burglars with their crimes by leaving belongings visible. Items left behind can result in a number of additional offenses.
Keys or garage door openers can provide thieves access to homes, where belongings, money, and personal information could be taken. If a pet or child is left unattended in a vehicle, they could become additional victims of a thief. Items such as purses, briefcases, bags, electronics, clothing, or accessories can be stolen, leading to financial ruin, identity theft or resale of items to other unknowing victims.
Drivers should recognize that thieves want to strike in locations where we are most likely to leave belongings and be separated from our vehicles for longer periods of time. Those places may include homes, malls, gyms, movie theaters, hotels, even places of worship.
In Tyler the following number of stolen vehicles have been reported for the following years:
- 2009- 243
- 2010- 203
- 2011- 162
- 2012- 134
- 2013- 204
- 2014- present- 88