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HPD Offers Helpful Tips To Reduce A Vehicle Burglary

April 11, 2006 -- The Houston Police Department would like to impart crime prevention tips to the public to reduce the likelihood of having their vehicles broken into or stolen. As an old cliché goes "An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of

To help decrease this type of crime, the Houston Police Department kicked-off a Burglary of Motor Vehicle Reduction Initiative in late November 2005 in Northwest Houston. The focus has been on the Highway 290 corridor where officers evaluate citizen's vehicles based upon their likelihood of victimization and at the same time educate them by providing crime prevention tips. In an effort to help officers and impede criminals, everyone should utilize these helpful tips to reduce a criminal's chance of making you his/her next target.

* Never leave keys in the vehicle or leave the vehicle with the ignition running. *Always lock all doors and set the vehicle's alarm system or use an anti-theft device to deter thieves.
* Never leave windows rolled down or even partially rolled down.
* Never leave valuables inside the vehicle (purses, laptops, briefcases, cameras, cell phones, compact disks, etc). These items are too tempting for a criminal to pass up! In most cases, criminals simply break a glass window and grab valuables in less than 10 seconds. Don't make yourself an easy target by leaving valuable property inside vehicles.
* Do not wait until reaching a destination to place valuables in the trunk. Criminals look for victims placing their purses and/or other valuables in the trunk before going into gyms, malls or other locations. It is always best to remove all valuable items from the vehicle and leave them at home or place them in the trunk before heading to a destination.
* Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas and immediately report any suspicious person(s) wandering around vehicles to security or police.
* Do not place shopping bags in vehicles and then return to the store to continue shopping. If necessary, drive away and park in a different location, so that if someone is watching they will think you're leaving.
* Plan on making the most expensive purchases last and go straight home (especially if you purchased jewelry or electronic items since these items can be easily re-sold if stolen). If being followed from your last location, do not second- guess yourself. Contact police immediately!

During the on-going initiative, officers have handed out thousands of report cards at locations where citizens have left their laptops, purses, and other obvious valuables in plain sight for crooks to steal. The last cliché I will share with you is, "It Will Never Happen to Me." Always take precautionary measures and don't use the excuse, "I will only be gone for a minute." It takes less than ten seconds for a criminal to break into the vehicle and grab your valuables.


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.