July has been historically documented as the peak period for auto crimes, and as a result the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has officially declared July as ‘Watch Your Car Month’ to help Texans make wise choices in regards to auto crime prevention.
According to the Texas Crime Analysis Report, a vehicle is burglarized every 2 ½ minutes. For the year of 2012, the same report documented 64,982 vehicles stolen which averages to 1 every 8 minutes. Almost half of the vehicles stolen were a result of the keys being left inside while the vehicle was left unattended. Below are some preventative methods to auto crime.
- Always take your keys with you and lock the vehicle
- Never leave the car running when you are not occupying the vehicle
- Park in high traffic areas that are well lit
- Take valuables with you instead of leaving them in the car
- If you must leave valuables keep them out of sight by placing them in the trunk or locked glove compartment
During ‘Watch Your Car Month’ the Austin Police Department Auto Theft Interdiction Project will be offering Austin residents the opportunity to have their vehicle identification number (VIN) engraved on several areas of an automobile at no cost. Etching the vehicle identification number (VIN) in additional locations throughout the vehicle is said to deter thieves from stealing your car because they are often trying to make a quick sale or cash in on all the retrievable parts. As of July 2014, the Texas DMV has provided a list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in order;
1. Ford pickup
2. Chevrolet pickup
3. Dodge pickup
4. Chevrolet Tahoe
5. Honda Civic
6. Honda Accord
7. GMC pickup
8. Chevrolet Impala
9. Toyota Camry
10. Nissan Altima.
If your car is stolen, report it to the police immediately and prepare to provide them with your vehicle make, year, model, color, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license plate number to increase chances for vehicle recovery.
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