Thousands of people will be in Austin this month attending events such as SXSW, Rodeo Austin and Texas Relays.
APD’s Auto Theft Interdiction Project would like to remind our community to remain vigilant, as thieves will be scouting parked vehicles and bicycles during these events. It only takes five minutes for a thief to steal your vehicle in Texas and two and a half minutes to burglarize your vehicle. Thieves are targeting public streets, shopping malls, hotels, apartment complexes, hike and bike trails, hospitals, large parking facilities and residential driveways.
Here are some precautions that will make your vehicle less of a target:
Lock your car and take your keys. Don’t make it easier for a thief to enter your vehicle. Half of all vehicles stolen in Texas are the result of drivers leaving their keys behind (in what they believe are hidden locations).
Park in well-lit areas or attended lots. Over half of all vehicle thefts occur at night. Auto thieves do not like witnesses and prefer unattended parking lots.
Hide or take valuables. Secure your valuables in the trunk prior to arrival at your designation.
Install protection devices. Some of these devices include visible steering wheel locks, ignition kill switches, fuel kill switches, alarms and vehicle tracking devices.
Write down where you parked. Take a picture or text yourself where you have left your vehicle to avoid confusion later on.
If you’re using a bicycle for transportation, please make sure to take extra precautions:
Lock it up. The following types of locking devices are preferred:
A heavy duty U-Lock
A heavy duty bicycle chain lock with combination
Using a combination of both devices will further help in prevention of bicycle theft
Proper lighting. Equip your bike with a front white light and red rear light.
Visibility. Wear bright clothes for added visibility at night.
Protection. Wear protective gear when riding such as a helmet and kneepads/ elbow pads.
Use signals. Use hand signals when riding, especially through congested areas.