Hide Your Things, Lock Your Car, Take Your Keys

February 28, 2008 - The Houston Police Department is urging the citizens of Houston, and visitors alike, to take an active role in reducing crime in our city by securing property in vehicle’s where thieves cannot see it and locking car doors.

Burglary of a motor vehicle is most often a crime of opportunity. In Texas, a vehicle is broken into every two and a half minutes. 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 simply looking into the vehicle. Most thieves don’t want to take a gamble by breaking into a vehicle where they could walk away empty-handed. They’re looking for a sure thing.

Thieves also frequent areas such as hotels/motels, restaurants, shopping centers, and parks where they know people leave their purses, wallets, or keys inside their vehicle while they eat, shop or exercise.

The HPD offers these 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. More than 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 your help as a citizen, we can reduce this type of crime through prevention, and redirect the officers of our city to respond to violent crimes. For more information, visit our Web site at www.houstonpolice.org.

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