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car break-in

Prevention tips: Reducing risk of auto theft

By Geoffrey Merritt
Officer, UTSA Police Department

(Aug. 31, 2006)--Four recent motor vehicle thefts were reported to the UTSA Police Department. The thefts occurred near the University Oaks Apartments and the 1604 Campus south parking lots. The stolen vehicles include a 2000 Honda Civic, a 1997 Acura Integra, a 1998 Acura Integra and a 2002 Ford F-350 truck.

If you observe suspicious activity and suspect someone is committing a crime, such as tampering with a car or looking into cars, immediately call UTSA Police at (210) 458-4911. An officer will be dispatched to the location to determine if a crime is being committed. Keep in mind that it is important to provide as much detail as possible including a description of suspects.

Your vehicle is one of the largest investments you make. New vehicles are not the only target for car thieves. Older model vehicles also are very desirable for their parts.

No vehicle or anti-theft device is 100 percent theft-proof and discouraging thieves is not an easy task. But, the more difficult your car is to steal, the longer it takes to be stolen.

Here are some tips from the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority that can help reduce the risk of car theft:

  • Take your keys. Nearly 20 percent of vehicles stolen had the keys in them.
  • Lock your car. Approximately half of vehicles stolen were left unlocked.
  • Never hide a second set of keys in your car. Extra keys can be found easily if a thief takes time to look.
  • Park in well-lighted areas. More than half of vehicle thefts occur at night.
  • Ignition kill switch and fuel kill switch. These are devices that prevent the ignition from being turned on or that closes the flow of fuel unless a switch is turned on by the driver.
  • Auto Alarms. Loud noises can scare off potential thieves, especially juvenile "joy-riders."
  • A steering wheel lock helps prevent car theft.

If you have any information about the recent motor vehicle thefts, call Sgt. Robert Hudson, UTSA Police Department, at (210) 458-4242. You can make yourself and your property a tougher target against crime.

For more information, call the Crime Prevention Unit of the UTSA Police Department at (210) 877-4006.

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