WAXAHACHIE — Andy Lara and Jessica Graves from the Tri-County Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Task Force visited the Rotary Club of Waxahachie to provide some information on how to minimize the risk that our vehicles will be stolen or burglarized.
They indicated four of the top five most commonly stolen vehicles in Texas are pickups with Ford leading the way. Most of the rest of the top ten are small, lower priced cars. Thieves select these because there is a good market for the pickup parts and, along with the small cars, they do not draw attention to themselves.
The goals of the task force are to reduce vehicle theft, reduce burglary from vehicles and educate the public on how to protect themselves and their property. One way they provide the education is to visit organizations like the Rotary Club.
The most important thing to remember when protecting yourself and your property is to use common sense. Do not leave your keys in the car. Lock the doors. Do not leave valuables in plain sight and do not ever leave an unattended vehicle running. It only takes seconds for someone to jump in and drive away.
If you have left the doors unlocked the most common things stolen are wallets or purses, money, credit cards, Social Security cards, garage door openers, handguns, computers and laptops. Garage door openers are prized because they can use the ID in your wallet to identify your home and gain access before you come back from reporting the theft — use common sense.
You can also use anti-theft devices and GPS locators such as LoJack to make a recovery more likely and possibly reduce auto insurance rates. Again, the most important thing is to use common sense.
For more information about the program call investigator Andy Lara at 817-728-3916 or visit their website at www.mansfieldtexas.gov/auto-theft-task-force.