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Stow Your Stuff, Lock It or Lose It

February 26, 2007 -- The Houston Police Department is asking the citizens of Houston to take an active role in reducing the crime in our city by securing your property in your vehicle where thieves cannot see it, taking your keys with you and locking your car doors.

Vehicle Burglary is most often a crime of opportunity. If we take away the opportunity, we reduce the chance of becoming a victim.

In the majority of these cases, property can be seen by looking into the vehicle. Most thieves don’t want to take a gamble by breaking into a vehicle where they’re walking away empty handed. Remember, they’re looking for a sure thing.

Thieves also frequent areas, such as parks, where they know people leave their purses, wallets, or keys inside or around their vehicle while they run or exercise.

Five tips on securing your vehicle and property.

1. Take Your Keys. Nearly 20% of all vehicles are stolen with the keys in them.

2. Lock Your Car. Approximately 50% of all vehicles stolen were left unlocked.

3. Park in Well-lighted Areas. Over half of all vehicle thefts occur at night.

4. Don't Leave Valuables in Plain View. Don't make your car or truck a more desirable target and attract thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight. Remove all valuables and luggage.

5. If You Have an Alarm, Use It. Loud warnings sound when doors/ hood/ trunk are opened.

With our citizens' help, we can reduce this type of crime through prevention and redirect the officers of our city to violent victim crimes. For more information, visit our website at www.houstonpolice.org.

JGA/MES 2-26-07

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