By CLINT FOSTER
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles reports that auto theft in Texas has dropped 61 percent since 1991. According to statistics from the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority, 163,837 vehicles were stolen in the Lone Star State in 1991, compared to 63,379 cars in 2011.
Mineral Wells has seen a slight overall decrease, as well, in the last 15 years. City-Data.com reports that 30 auto thefts occurred in Mineral Wells in 1999. Their records show that number fell to 23 vehicles in 2011.
What is interesting are some of the spikes in years between. Auto thefts hit a high of 54 in 2000 and 2004, and 53 in 2002. The most recent peak was 49 thefts in 2009, which steadily decreased to 44 in 2010 before reaching a new low in 2011.
ABTPA’s statistics show that July is the peak month for auto thefts in Texas. As a result, the organization has deemed July “Watch Your Car Month” in an effort to keep auto thefts on the decline.
ABTPA offers the following tips to ensure your vehicle’s safety:
•Keep CDs, books, clothes and other personal belongings out of sight.
•Do not leave behind valuables such as cell phones, laptops, instruments, purses or wallets.
•Do not leave your vehicle unattended while it is running.
•Don’t leave loose change in the console or cup holder. Even a small amount of change can entice thieves.
•Store garage door openers out of sight. If stolen, thieves can easily use your car to find your home and get in through the garage.
•Ask valets and auto repair shops not to leave your keys in an unattended vehicle.
•Always keep your keys with you.
•Lock your vehicle.
•Park in well-lit, high-traffic areas and use a car alarm if possible.
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