Summer expected to bring more auto thefts, burglaries

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 4:39 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Warmer days and summer breaks for schools could lead to more car burglaries or stolen vehicles this season.

July is called “Watch Your Car Month” because Jay Truelock, chief investigator at the South Plains Auto Theft Task Force, says this is their busiest time of the year.

“There’s more cars stolen in the summer months because there’s more people,” Truelock said. “The weather’s nicer, it’s warmer, there’s more kids out, there’s more activities.”

Lubbock Police Lieutenant Brady Cross says while he can’t say if there are more thefts in the summer, the age of the people involved does change.

“One thing that does change in the summer months is we do see sometimes the actors involved tend to be juveniles,” Lieutenant Cross said.

He says shifting from school to summer, kids are no longer in a routine.

“I think that the summer months bring a lack of structure,” Lieutenant Cross said. “You don’t have school going to, you don’t have a routine, you’re not getting up and going.”

Also, Lieutenant Cross says, parents seem to loosen the reins some during the summer.

“Parents maybe tend to give a little more rope to kids in the summertime, allowing them to stay out later or not always knowing where they are, and that lends itself to these kinds of criminal acts occurring,” Lieutenant Cross said.

Truelock says to aim for safety, not convenience. For example, leaving your keys in your car makes it that much easier for a criminal.

“Don’t leave your keys, your key fob, because people are breaking into cars looking for guns, looking for different valuables and they’re finding the keys and the key fob and they’re taking off with the whole vehicle,” Truelock said.

Those valuables can be cellphones, watches, laptops, and firearms. Lieutenant Cross says to also remember to take your garage door opener inside with you or to lock your garage.

“Not all garage door openers are the same, but most are equipped with a lock,” Lieutenant Cross said. “You can physically lock it and slide the mechanism that keeps the door from coming up or there’s an electronic lock on the opener itself that disables the opener from working.”

He says a simple thing like locking your car or glovebox can deter a criminal.

“What we do normally see is that speed is of the essence,” Lieutenant Cross said. “They’re trying to get in and out as quickly, so any added layer of protection you can give yourself is helpful.”

If you are a victim of one of these crimes, Lubbock police are asking you to make sure you report it. They launched a new online reporting system that can be accessed here by clicking on “Reports and Forms.”

You can also call the non-emergency number at (806) 775-2865 to file a report or request to meet with an officer in person.

You can also file a report at police headquarters at 916 Texas Avenue.

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