EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Las Cruces Police Department’s Community Outreach team wants you to remember to “lock, take, hide.”

It is part of a new crime prevention initiative. The team is posting aluminum signs in heavy trafficked parking lots, encouraging motorists to “Lock your car. Take your keys. Hide your things.”
“The concept is to remind drivers to do their part in limiting the likelihood of becoming a victim of auto burglary or auto theft,” said LCPD Interim Chief Jeremy Story. “Many auto burglaries and auto thefts are crimes of opportunity. Cars are left unlocked, unattended with valuables inside and keys in the ignition. That means there is temptation for a crime and little resistance.
“We want motorists to help us limit crimes of opportunity,” Story added.
In the first six months of 2023, the Las Cruces Police Department has seen fewer incidents of auto thefts and auto burglaries than during the same period in 2022. Through June 2023, auto thefts are down 15 percent and auto burglaries are down 8 percent compared to the first six months of 2022.
Police encourage motorists to follow these simple tips to help limit the chances of becoming a victim of auto theft or auto burglary:

  • Keep items of “intrigue” (backpacks, luggage, packages, shopping bags, cell phone chargers, electronics, tools, etc.) out of sight.
  • Remove or properly secure tools and other gear commonly carried in trailers or pickup beds.
  • Do not leave firearms or ammunition inside an unattended vehicle.
  • Do not leave spare keys or garage door openers inside your vehicle.
  • Refrain from leaving key fobs inside an unattended vehicle.
  • Do not leave bank cards, cash or important documents inside your vehicle.
  • Roll up windows and keep doors locked when leaving vehicle unattended.
  • Remove key from the ignition, and refrain from leaving your vehicle unlocked and unattended while running a quick errand or pumping gasoline.
  • If possible, park in a well-lighted area or inside a garage.
  • Use a self-arming audible vehicle alarm system.
  • Consider installing a monitored home security system or a motion-sensor ‘smart’ alarm, such as a Ring or Nest doorbell systems, that overlooks the driveway. Such “smart” alarms record video and send alerts via cell phone when motion is detected.
  • Immediately report to police any suspicious behavior or activity.

So far, nearly 60 “Lock, Take, Hide” signs have been posted at various locations throughout Las Cruces. More signs will be posted soon in parking lots with high traffic.

Business owners within Las Cruces city limits who wish to request a “lock, take, hide” sign posted on their property are encouraged to contact police via email at LCPDcommunityadvocate@lascruces.gov.