Crime Prevention: Car burglary through a criminal’s eyes

Let’s look at burglarizing your vehicle through the eyes of a criminal.

Wide variety of merchandise.  A vast array of property is left inside parked vehicles. Laptop computers, cell phones, GPS devices, after-market stereo systems, video systems, even purses and wallets, just scratches the surface of the variety of “window shopping” goodies criminals prey upon.

Easy shopping. It takes less than a minute to break a vehicle’s window, unlock the door, and remove items left inside.  Most of the time, there are no witnesses to these offenses because of the ease and speed.

Low risk.  In Texas, car burglary is a misdemeanor offense, meaning less time behind bars.  Only on the third conviction does car burglary become a felony.

Hard to be caught.  Because thieves often pick vehicles parked in secluded spots, dark areas, and avoid crowded areas, there is often no witness to a car burglary offense.

Easy to convert stolen items to cash.  This can trip up a burglary if items stolen are marked (or serial numbers recorded), and these numbers are reported to police. If a serial number of a stolen piece of property is identified, it is easy to identify the suspect who pawned it.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of property stolen is not marked, or the serial numbers are not recorded, and the property is never identified as stolen.

Take, Lock, Hide.  The basic crime-fighting tool to prevent car burglary.  Remember, there is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can make yourself less likely to be a victim of car burglary by locking your vehicle, hiding your valuables from sight, or even better, take them with you, park in areas that are not secluded, record serial numbers and by using common sense.  Simply locking your vehicle and removing the property from inside is half the battle.

Remember that YOU are an important partner in the fight against crime!

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