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Lock it up! Car thieves target vehicles in summer months

Locking your car is the easiest way to protect it from thieves. ((SBG Photo))

SAN ANTONIO -- More cars are broken into or stolen in the month of July than any other month.

That’s according to a new study by Allstate Insurance looking at car thefts across Texas.

Here in San Antonio, the numbers are a little different.

In 2017, 605 vehicle thefts were reported to the San Antonio Police Department in July. Which is less than the 630 vehicle thefts reported in May of last year.

From 2011 to 2017, on average, there are 563 vehicles reported stolen in July in San Antonio. In 2016, 673 vehicle thefts were reported in July.

These thefts happen pretty much everywhere.

“Apartment complexes, chopping centers, movie theaters it could be in your own driveway,” said Officer Hank Quiroga, SAPD.

"Whether you are out running everyday errands or taking a road trip this summer, it's important to protect your vehicle and belongings from unwanted attention." says Rosie Sierra an Allstate agency owner in San Antonio. "Leaving valuables in plain sight or leaving your car running for a few minutes can make it a potential target."

While July is also the highest month for total vehicle thefts, in-vehicle thefts were more common overall in Texas from 2013-2017. In-vehicle theft is not stealing the entire car; it's the smash-and-grab of items left inside. Texas police say top items on a thieves' shopping list include laptop computers, purses, wallets, smart phones and tablets.

Tips to Turn off Thieves:

  1. Lock It Up and Roll 'Em Up - An unlocked door or rolled-down window gives thieves fast access to everything in the car. Also, never leave your vehicle running or the smart key inside the car when it is left unattended.
  2. Look Around - Park in well-lit areas of the parking lot or street. Look for safety benefits like security cameras or pedestrian activity. Lights, cameras and law-abiding citizens are turn-offs for thieves.
  3. Hide it First or Take It Along - If it's too bulky to keep in your possession, store valuable items in the trunk of the car or out of sight-and do it before you park. Waiting to hide valuables until you've arrived can allow a thief to watch where you stow your stuff.
  4. Deter Thieves - Consider installing an audible alarm system and a visible anti-theft device. Car thieves tend to avoid cars with alarms or anti-theft devices because they attract attention when they go off. Check in with your insurance provider, you may receive a discount on your auto insurance for some of these devices.
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