WFPD Offers Tips To Avoid Auto Theft This Summer

WFPD Offers Tips To Avoid Auto Theft This Summer

Wichita Falls, TX - Wichita Falls Police say car burglaries are up nearly 47 percent from this same time last year, but there are a few simple things you can do to protect your property from becoming a potential theft.

With temperatures heating up outside, many Texoma drivers are doing anything to get some relief.

"When it's this hot outside, and I know I'm at a safe place like my home, I leave them down," said Cindy Thomas, a Wichita Falls driver.

We met Thomas as we were driving through neighborhoods and she had her car parked outside of her home with all four of the windows down.

Police say it's not hot enough to ward off thieves. Vehicle thefts and burglaries this month are down, but it does not mean it's safe to let your guard down.

This time last year, there were more than 229 reported burglaries for the year. Wichita Falls is already at 337 this year, and the summer heat wave is just getting started.

"I would really chalk a lot of that up to people simply not locking your vehicle. If people would lock their vehicle when they leave, it would drastically cut that number down," said Sgt. Harold McClure, Public Information Officer at the Wichita Falls Police Department.

It's not just unlocked doors. For more than two hours, we traveled through Wichita Falls neighborhoods and noticed more than a dozen vehicles with windows cracked or rolled down.

"When you leave that window cracked its an invitation. You're making it easy to become a victim," said Sgt. McClure.

Police say even if you lock your vehicle up, make sure you hide your belongings that are inside.

"You wouldn't believe how many times vehicles are broken into and it's the information they're targeting," said Sgt. McClure.

"I never leave my purse in the car, checks or bills or anything like that. No personal information," said Cindy. "If I'm at Walmart or Kohls or something like that, the windows are up and the car is locked."

Some alternatives other than leaving your window down or cracked are purchasing a sun window shade to reflect  the heat or get your windows tinted. Police say if you go that route, make sure the tint you have installed is the legal limit.

Police also say following these three rules: take, lock and hide; could also help prevent your car or belongings from becoming a potential theft.

1) Take your keys
2) Lock your vehicle
3) Hide your belongings

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6