LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - This year alone, more than 65,000 cars have been stolen or burglarized, and with auto crime increasing in the summer months, Texas officials have declared July as "Watch Your Car Month."
According to the Texas crime analysis report, a car is stolen or burglarized every eight minutes in the state of Texas.
Lufkin Police Sergeant David Casper said a lot of those are occurring because people are forgetting to take simple preventative measures.
“I don’t know if it is the heat, kids out of school or what, but it just seems like every year during the summer stats on these types of crimes shoot way up,” Casper said.
In just the past week alone, the Lufkin Police Department has responded to more than 30 car burglaries, and it’s just the beginning of the what authorities are saying the highest crime month of the summer.
Casper said a lot of the burglaries they respond to are caused because people just don’t lock their doors and most of the time they steal car radios and GPS devices.
Casper said it’s the simplest things that could prevent these items from being stolen.
“If you are going shopping for the day, you know especially here in Lufkin, most people know how to get around here, you really don’t need the GPS. If not, store it in the glove box or something like that.” Casper said.
Casper adds a special tip for women.
“I know a lot of women like to store their purse in the trunk of the car, but don’t wait until you get to the parking lot and get out where everyone can see you taking your purse and putting it in the trunk,” Casper said.
These common sense tips are what lead the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority to kick off the “Watch Your Car Month” and launch a new marketing campaign called, “It’s Not Rocket Science."
The ABTPA says to follow these common sense steps:
1. Always lock your vehicle and take your keys.
2. Never leave your car running and unattended.
3. Park in a well-lit and high-traffic area.
4. Take valuables with you and when you are not in your vehicle.
5. Keep valuables out of sight.
These tips will not only help keep your car from being burglarized but will also help it from being stolen.
According to the ABTPA the top 10 cars stolen in order are:
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