Car Thefts Spiking in DFW, Law Enforcement Urges Drivers to Take Preventative Measures - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Car Thefts Spiking in DFW, Law Enforcement Urges Drivers to Take Preventative Measures

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Car Thefts Spiking in DFW, Drivers Urged to Prevent Thefts

    The North Texas Auto Theft Task Force, a group comprised of multiple law enforcement agencies, made a renewed plea for the public to take preventative measures to stop car thefts, which spike in the summer months. (Published Thursday, June 14, 2018)

    The temperature isn't the only thing that spikes during the summer months here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

    The North Texas Auto Theft Task Force, a group comprised of multiple law enforcement agencies, says officers respond to more vehicle thefts from June to September than any other time period during the year.

    And across the Metroplex, it's reaching a fever pitch.

    "In 2016, there were 20,229 reported vehicle thefts," said Detective Raul Reyna, spokesperson for the Dallas County Sheriff's Office. "That's a whole, whole lot -- and that's just in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. This resulted in a 6.2 percent increase in overall thefts reported from the previous year."

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    Though more current data is still being compiled, members of the task force said confidently that the numbers continue to rise.

    It's why they held a news conference Thursday, to make a renewed plea with the public to take preventative measures.

    "We don't want to make it easy for the criminals," said Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown. "We encourage the citizens to become what we call hardened targets -- that is, to put the odds on your side that you will be less likely to become a victim of auto theft."

    First and foremost, they say you should always lock your vehicles -- and double check that you locked them before you go to bed.

    They also recommend that you don't leave anything valuable in plain sight inside your vehicles, so as not to entice would-be thieves. 

    Furthermore, they encourage drivers to take advantage of the free VIN etchings they do at least once a month. 

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    "It only takes a few minutes to complete and it works too," said Ian Echeverria, Claims Manager for AAA Texas. "Car thieves frequently steal vehicles to sell off the automobile's parts. A window that has been etched makes the vehicle less profitable for thieves and helps law enforcement recover stolen vehicles."

    Statewide, nearly 65,000 vehicles were stolen in 2016, with the average dollar loss amount coming in at roughly $7,800.

    "If we keep one another accountable to help one another, we will decrease the number of auto thefts in Texas and Dallas County," said Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson. "But we can't do it alone."

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