How to protect your vehicle as thefts climb across state

Car thefts are up 15% in Texas
Car thefts are up 15% in Texas(kltv)
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 4:32 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 8:16 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Detective Gary King of the Tyler Police Department gave some key tips Tuesday to prevent your vehicle from being stolen.

King said people often forget an important step which leads to auto thefts; “Unlocked doors, unlocked cars, leaving the keys in the cars is the biggest trend that I’m seeing,” he said. “Auto burglaries that turn into auto thefts.”

According to QuoteWizard, auto thefts in Texas are up from 249 per capita in 2011 to 287 per capita in 2020, which is a 15% jump and the 12th highest rate in the nation.

In Tyler, King said the number of thefts fluctuate.

“We usually average 15-20 auto thefts a month in Tyler and that’s about where it’s at, December it was like 31,” King said.

While thefts fluctuate, the model remains.

“There is a big market for pickup trucks and for pickup truck parts and so thieves have really been targeting those types of vehicles,” Nick VinZint, senior research analyst at QuoteWizard said.

Why are there more auto thefts?

“Cars have gotten much more expensive, used cars have gotten really expensive over the last two years, and there’s a huge market for car parts,” Vinzint said.

While thefts increase, King said, “Most of the people here in Tyler, they’re not breaking windows, they’re checking door handles. So if we lock our doors, we can really reduce the the auto burglaries and in a lot of cases auto theft.” King also recommends parking in well lit areas and taking valuables out of your car.