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Hands off Crooks: Tips to keep you and your wheels Rolling

 

Kaufman, Texas – A vehicle is stolen every 21 seconds in the United States. Yet many of these thefts are completely preventable. We are asking for your help in combating these crimes. In 2009, Kaufman County residents reported 147 vehicles stolen, with a reported value of $1,403,445.00. Out of this amount, Kaufman County investigators recovered $955,467.00. These stolen vehicles cost victims time and money, and increases everyone’s insurance premiums. Often these stolen vehicles are used to commit other crimes.

Criminals shop for opportunities to take those high priced tires and wheels, as well as the contents inside your vehicle, and sometimes opt for the vehicle itself.With the right equipment and tools, thieves can have those tires and expensive wheels off a car in about five minutes or less.

 Crime prevention begins with you! Take time to protect yourself and your property.

     1. Always lock your car. Nearly half of vehicles stolen are left unlocked.

    2. Take your keys. Just because you live in the country, that is no excuse to leave the keys in the ignition.

    3. Do not leave valuables in plain view.This makes you a target for theft. A GPS device, its power cord or cradle left visible in a vehicle are the #1 target for thieves, followed by purses and laptops. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, lock them in the truck before you reach your destination.

    4. Security devices are a great way to secure your vehicle and put off would be thieves. Electronic immobilizers are a sure way to put off car thieves. Mechanical immobilizers, such as steering wheel locks are a good alternative to electronic immobilizers. They are not expensive and are easy to fit yourself. Purchasing a locking gas cap means the thief will not be able to put gas in your stolen car thus shortening his joy ride.

    5. Use lug nut locks. Lug nut locks are an affordable way to protect your car. Drivers can literally lock their wheels into place, preventing a thief from using a wrench to unscrew the lug nuts.

    7. Don’t ever think that your car is too old and worn to be a target. Casual thieves looking for property to steal might actually single your vehicle out, thinking it is less likely to have sophisticated anti-theft measures.

    What if my vehicle is stolen?

    If your vehicle was just stolen, call 911 immediately! Be prepared to give the 911 operator your vehicle information, the address of where it was taken from, and any information you may have on the suspects and their direction of travel. Have your license plate or VIN number available.Your insurance policy paperwork also has your VIN on it. If your vehicle has any unique markings, damage, or parts (like custom wheels) this will help in locating your vehicle. Having a picture of your vehicle always helps.

The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing the highest quality of service to our community. “We can do this through public education, prevention strategies, and the active pursuit of thieves. Our goal is to provide quality follow-up investigations that ensure auto thieves are arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” stated Sheriff David A. Byrnes.