Police: Car thefts, burglaries increase during winter months


POSTED: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 6:25am

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 5:47pm

EPPD offers vehicle safety tips

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, but according to El Paso police, it is also a busy time for burglars and thieves looking to break into or steal cars.

The El Paso Police Department's Auto Theft Task Force said there is a 35 percent decrease in auto thefts in El Paso, and an 8 percent decrease in vehicle burglaries.  However, they warn that those numbers usually tend to spike during the winter months.

One reason for the increase is that during colder weather, people tend to warm up their cars before driving away and sometimes walk away from the car while it's still running.  Police warn that car thieves only need a few seconds to get in your car and drive away. 

It is also against Texas law to leave your car unattended.  Police advise that you remain in your car while it's heating up.  When you get out, take your keys with you and lock the doors.

Sometimes, locked doors aren't enough.  Police advise installing a secondary anti-theft device such as an alarm, steering wheel lock or vehicle ignition interruption device, or kill switch.  They are relatively inexpensive and can deter a burglar or thief.

Another tip from police: Do not leave gifts or shopping bags in plain view.  Instead, store items in the trunk.  For larger, more expensive items, such as a television, take those items home before you continue shopping.  Then once you get home, take the items out of the car and take them inside your home. 



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