Car Burglaries Decline with Safety Precautions Taken

The car safety precautions many people are taking are drastically reducing the amount of car burglaries in the city.

Just this week police reported several car burglaries with items taken, including a CD player, a tool box worth $250, and a car stereo worth $600.  According to police, each car was left unlocked. However, police say their new crime free programs have reduced car burglaries by 34% from this time last year.

A big part of reducing car burglaries happens at apartment complexes across Wichita Falls. Several properties are part of the crime free certification process, which gives managers tips to educate the public on safety. Police also go to the properties to perform on sight security assessments. Once complexes pass the assessment, they become crime free certified.  Officer Harold McClure says, "It helps reduce crimes in and around that area.  It helps to educate the management on what to do if crime does occur. And it has drastically reduced crimes in and around our apartment complexes".

Lakeview Townhomes Manager Denise Sperry agrees the crime free program has vastly helped reduce car burglaries on their property. And Wellington on the Lake property Manager Jessica Hulett said going through the crime free course and passing the information to her residents has definitely made them more aware and has decreased car burglaries in their property as well.

Officer McClure says, "When we first started the 'Take it, Lock it, Hide it' initiative, 85% of the burglary of vehicles were from vehicles that weren't even locked. Being able to educate the public, we've been able to bring that down to 28% which I believe is an all time low, so you know, that's outstanding".

He says thieves check car door handles and it is easy access if they find one unlocked. Also, to make sure not to leave anything of value like a purse, laptop, GPS, or cell phone in sight.  Either take it with you, place it under your seat or in your trunk.  Remember out of sight, out of mind. So far more than 200 apartment managers have been certified under the crime free program.