July Is "Watch Your Car Month" - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/02/08 -- Lufkin

July Is "Watch Your Car Month"

By Mystic Matthews

Statistics show every five minutes a car is stolen in Texas and every two minutes, a car is broken into.

"We see this every day," says Lt. David Young with the Lufkin Police Department.

So to help bring awareness to the problem the Texas Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority has declared July "Watch Your Car Month" in Texas.

"To protect your car itself is kind of hard," says Young.

But you can protect what's inside. And officials say it's easy, lock it.

Young says, "If it is locked, a lot of thieves will just avoid it. They'll look for cars that are unlocked. So don't be the easy target."

But besides locking it, you shouldn't leave anything in it to tempt thieves, even if you are at home because residences are where 42%of break-ins happen.

"If you leave your purse in your car and lock it, don't think it's safe. It only takes a second to break that glass and get it out, so just don't leave it in your car," says Young.

Because when your purse or wallet is stolen, your identity goes with it.

"When they steal that, they have everything they need to steal your identity.  These very often turn into more serious crimes of identity theft, credit card abuse or fraud," says Young.

And it's not just at home.

"At any of the large retail outlets, it's a place thieves prey on.  They look for cars, particularly those that are unlocked.  They don't have to make noise. It's very fast, in and out. They can get a stereo out in minutes and a purse out in seconds."

And retail parking lots account for 29% of burglaries.

So keep it simple, keep it safe.

Lock your car, take your keys, and hide your valuables.

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