Sadly it seems that getting your car broken into is a fact of life living in apartment complexes and most neighbourhoods or place of businesses around Texas.
In Houston alone, there’s about 30,000 of burglary from motor vehicle cases on average per year, a majority of which could have been avoided if many of the victims of these crimes were being proactive. What’s frustrating is you expect to be able to leave your property in your car without worrying about it. But clearly this is not the case. If you can afford to lose something of value, then leave it in your car and you will lose it. Your best bet is to leave nothing of value in your car unattended -intrinsic or otherwise- that you would prefer not to end up in the wrong hands.
Every part of Houston has the potential of being a hot spot, areas likely of targets like Midtown, Downtown, Montrose and various other locations with transient populations have the highest probability ratings of BMV crimes. Inside the inner loop the parking lots of bars, parking garages, clubs, and restaurants are favourites for criminals. It doesn’t matter the time of day either since these are mainly crimes of the opportunity.
Here Are Some Auto Burglary Prevention Tips
- Don’t leave valuables with personal information out.
- Don’t move valuables to the trunk or other areas of the car while you’re in public, so would-be burglars don’t see what you have. Move items before you leave the house, or lock items in the glove compartment.
- Get a car alarm. This is a sure-fire way to attract attention towards anyone who is trying to break into your vehicle.
- Put your vehicle in the garage if possible, but still lock doors and other points of entry.
- If you’re out and about, always park in a well lighted and high traffic area and be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t risk hiding items in an SUV. They can be easier to break into because there is no trunk. This means that the driver generally just hides things out of sight and burglars know the common places to look.
- Don’t leave belongings in the car overnight. A lot of burglaries occur at night when the vehicle is parked outside of the home, or when a vehicle is parked in a parking lot and unattended for long periods of time.
- Keep the car clean, because even items that aren’t valuable can be mistaken as valuable (like an empty shopping bag, boxes, etc.
How to avoid having a vehicle stolen:
- Never leave keys inside your vehicle.
- Don’t leave the garage door opener in plain view (this can be mitigated by not putting a garage door opener in vehicles that will be parked outside).
- Don’t leave your car running. If it is necessary due to severe weather, sit with the car. Do not leave it unattended. You can also lock the vehicle and use a duplicate key to enter it after warming.
- Install kill switches for steering wheels and column lock to deter theft.
- Don’t hide a key in a magnetic key box. If you can find it, so can a burglar. Many online resources tell car owners where magnetic keys for a specific vehicle are located.
- Don’t put any personal information on your car keys. If they are stolen, you will lose vital personal information.
What Items are Most Commonly Stolen from Vehicles?
- Backpacks, gym bags, briefcases, day-planners
- Cash/coins, chequebooks and credit/debit cards
- Wallets and purses
- Laptops, iPods, and MP3 players
- Cell phones and chargers
- Portable GPS navigation systems
- Stereo/CD players, faceplates, amps, speakers (even when bolted down!)
- Jewellery, keys, mail (identity theft), tools
- Anything of obvious value.
Also, be vigilant. If you see someone acting suspicious report it to the local police or the on-site property security.
What may be suspicious behaviour for a cat burglar? Here are a couple of tips:
Anyone walking up and down aisles of parking lots looking into cars or trying door handles, vehicles cruising parking lots at very slow speeds for extended periods while observing parked cars.
Anyone sitting in running parked cars for protracted periods, and vehicles dropping one person off while continuing to cruise the same area.
Texas Commissioned Security Operations hope that these tips will help you reduce your chances of falling victim to an auto burglar. Take a few minutes of your day as you leave your car to reflect on some of these tips. If you would like for a complimentary quote for security services call us at 281.628.7012 email us at [email protected]