Preventing Auto Theft A Team Effort

Officers from throughout East Texas are learning basic and specialized auto theft techniques from the Texas Department of Public Safety Motor Vehicle Theft Service. The lessons are important considering a vehicle is stolen in Texas an average of every five minutes.

Captain Adrian Cortez said, "They strip the cars and resell the parts, and then they steal cars out on the open market." Stolen motor vehicles often end up in neighboring states or Mexico. Auto theft recovery rate is 75%.

When it comes to marine theft, the recovery rate is only one in ten. Recently, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Department of Public Safety Motor Theft Division began working together on theft prevention and training. The agencies want their combined efforts to pay off with a better recovery rate.

All agencies want the public to play a bigger role in preventing motor vehicle theft. Captain Cortez advised, "When they're out there and they park their vehicle at the mall [or] at home, be careful not to leave valuables in the car. Make sure they're locked. Make sure they're taking any type of preventive measures. They can buy an alarm, devices for the vehicle."

Alarms usually aren't a big selling point anymore according to car salesman Dennis Glazener. "I don't think people are as interested as they used to be because most of us don't pay attention to a horn honking and lights flashing in a parking lot any more. We seem to walk by it. We become immune to it."

Perhaps a mistake, considering that the monetary loss of vehicle thefts in Texas is more than $812 million every year. In Texas, the most car thefts are in July with the fewest in February.

Top Ten Stolen Vehicles / May, 2005

GM pickups
Ford pickups
Dodge pickups
Honda Accord
Ford Taurus
GM Suburban
Toyota Camry
Ford Mustang
Chevrolet Caprice