Lufkin apartments bombarded by car burglaries

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Silvercreek Apartment resident had $500 of music stolen from her car last month. "There was records in there that were my dad's, there was Metallica CD's, a lot of things that was my dad's and he's gone, so it really hurt me, but it's not going to stop them from doing what they're doing," said Brandi Eckles, Silvercreek Apartment resident.

There has been more than thirty car burglaries in May. Most of them occurred on the south side of Lufkin. "I think the access to the highway is part of that, but apartments are target rich environments because there's so many vehicles parked in one concentrated area," said Lt. David Young, Lufkin Police Department spokesperson.

Young said countless people leave valuables in their unlocked car in clear sight, practically enticing burglars. Eckles said she does not have the option of locking her car; her car physically cannot lock. "We just went and got an alarm system on it so now if someone touches our car it goes crazy," said Eckles.

Lufkin PD said the number one way to protect your car is to grab your personal belongings, like your purse, secure your keys and lock your door. They said the extra time it takes to grab those things is worth it compared to what you could possibly lose. "Always lock your vehicle, don't make it easy for them," said Lt. Young.

He said sometimes locking your car is not enough. Silvercreek residents have taken a more aggressive approach. "We have neighborhood watch, everybody gets together and we help each other out with the cars," said Lt. Young.

Police said they are doing everything they can to crack down on car crooks. "At this complex [Silvercreek Apartments] we actually captured a couple of suspects breaking into vehicles and we hope that's put a dent in the problem here," said Lt. Young.

Don't make it easy for car burglars, follow these tips:

  • ALWAYS lock your car.
  • NEVER leave valuables in clear sight. If you have to leave personal property in your car, lock it in your trunk.
  • You can also use a security device like a steering wheel lock or a gear shift column lock.
  • If possible, always try to park in a well-lighted spot
  • Keep your registration card in your wallet instead of your glove compartment. Often when thieves are pulled over or confronted by police, they can produce license and registration.
  • Use paint or an indelible marker to put the vehicle identification number (VIN) under the engine hood and trunk lid and on the battery. This number is usually found on the dashboard on the driver's side of the car.