So, let's see, what's on my wish list for this year? There's this killer Rush baseball jersey, a $1000 Visa gift card, chicken nuggets for life and, oh right, NOT getting my car stolen or broken into. Given how many cars get ripped off during the holidays, that last one on the list might be the toughest get of the season.
According to a release from the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA, a.k.a. The Longest Winded Department Name in the History of Department Names), a car is burglarized every two minutes and stolen every eight in the state of Texas. (Holy crap!) To make matters worse, identity thieves are interested in personal documents that might allow them to run off to Barbados with your hard-earned credit rating...and your wife. Hey-oh!
In all seriousness, though, these crimes are on the rise during the holiday, when gifts get left in the car or when people are traveling, so it is worth taking note and being careful.
ABTPA's Reduce Auto Theft in Texas (RATT) task squad or '80s hair metal band program manager Michelle Lanham warns that malls, shopping centers, entertainment venues and hotels can be some of the more dangerous areas for your car.
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"Drivers need to understand that almost anything they leave inside their vehicles can be valuable to a thief," she said in a release. "And when vehicles are left unlocked and unattended, drivers are inviting thieves to walk away with everything they see inside, which often includes gifts, purses, wallets, packages, electronics, suitcases, garage door openers, keys and personal information,"
Stats show that, in some jurisdictions, more than half of vehicle thefts occurred because doors were unlocked and keys left inside. Seriously, who does this? This is like something my grandfather did when he went into the post office in the '70s. Hell, he left the damn car running because either he trusted the neighborhood or no one wanted his giant boat of an Oldsmobuick. Either way, that is an ill-advised course of action today.
Bottom line is don't leave your nice crap in the car -- wallets, jewels, electronics, stacks of money you embezzled from your job -- and make sure to lock up so that jerkoff thieves won't drop a giant lump of coal in your stocking this year...or a banana in your tailpipe.