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Watch your car

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POSTED: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 5:42pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 6:33pm

We’re doing a lot better when it comes to preventing auto theft.

But despite all the progress, people keep making some basic mistakes.

Here in Texas, we love our trucks. And the Ford, Chevy and Dodge, or Ram, trucks are still the most popular stolen vehicles in our state.
But luckily, not as often as they used to be.

“Maybe it’s our fault for not getting the word out well enough saying hey, there are a lot of cars being stolen in Texas and in Tyler, you have to realize you can’t make it easy,” says Gary King with the East Texas Auto Theft Task Force, and he has seen those statistics really drop over the years.

In fact, in 1991, almost 164,000 vehicles were stolen in the Lone Star State. By 2011, it was down to just over 63,000.That’s a 61% drop.

So the good news is that we’ve cut auto theft in half in the last 20 years in Texas. You want to cut that figure in half again? That’s simple.
When you go in for coffee, don’t leave your engine running. And for heaven’s sake, don’t leave your keys in the car.

“Auto theft rates have dropped tremendously since our auto task force was established in ’91,” King told us. “So we’re doing a lot better. Technology had a lot to do with that, making it harder to steal the vehicles, but last year, half the vehicles stolen had the keys in them.”
And items left in the open like CD’s, or electronic devices are an invitation to burglars, who can then run into auto thieves.

King says, “You know, a lot of my auto theft in the city of Tyler, are auto burglaries where the thief finds a spare set of keys in the car and it becomes an auto theft.’

July is Watch Your Car Month.

And the boys in blue are hoping we all do just that.

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