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Vehicle theft, break-ins go up during the holidays

Posted: 5:09 AM, Dec 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-19 06:32:33-05

The holiday season is a time for giving and sharing, but some people aren’t waiting for a gift.

They are helping themselves to what doesn’t belong to them…Like vehicles.

This is the time of the year vehicles end up missing. Last year more than 9,000 vehicles were stolen during the holiday season nationwide.

Whether or not you become a victim depends on many factors, particularly how well you secure your vehicle and where you park it.

“They will target vehicles that are left unlocked. We try to push our program take, lock, and hide. Take your belongings and auto thefts take your keys out of your vehicle. We see around 60 percent of our auto thefts are related to the keys being made available to the crook who ends up taking the vehicle,” said CCPD Auto Theft task Force Lt. Colby Burris.

The Corpus Christi Police Department is urging shoppers to lock unattended cars and remain aware as they shop during the holiday season.

“Just remember thieves are going to be out there looking for an opportunity. If you take your stuff and lock your vehicle up and make it harder for them to get in there, they are going  to go somewhere else,” said Burris.

CCPD is expecting it to be busy this holiday season and plans to have a larger presence surrounding the mall and other areas around the city.

Thieves may be lured by extended shopping hours and unattended vehicles in parking lots.

“CCPD is putting the emphasis on putting patrols, high patrols in those areas to deter traffic accidents also crime that happen over there,” said Burris.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau released a report showing a total of 9,926 vehicles nationwide were reported stolen in the 2017 holiday season: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. And more than 1,900 stolen vehicles were from the state of Texas.

Law enforcement recommends the following safety tips for this holiday season:

  • Take your keys and lock your doors every time you leave your vehicle.
  • Never leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. Place them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when out and about.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Invest in an audible or visible deterrent.
  • Install GPS or other tracking devices.

Holidays ranked by the number of thefts in 2017 were:

  1. New Year’s Day (2,469)
  2. President’s Day (2,312)
  3. Halloween (2,297)
  4. Memorial Day (2,290)
  5. Labor Day (2,180)
  6. Valentine’s Day (2,169)
  7. Independence Day (2,124)
  8. New Year’s Eve (1,962)
  9. Christmas Eve (2,054)
  10. Thanksgiving (1,777)
  11. Christmas Day (1,664)