WACO, TX — Nancy and David Jackson recently had something happen to them that happens less in the spring than most seasons of the year: they had their car stolen, right out of their driveway.
"We were just totally shocked," Nancy said. According to the Department of Justice, motor vehicle theft rates tend to be lower in the springtime. In fact, rates of household larceny and burglary victimization are often much higher in the summer than other seasons of the year.
She and David moved to their surrounding Waco neighborhood last October, and had been using their garage for storage instead of for parking their red Toyota Camry.
"Our garage was full of things, and that’s why we weren’t parked in the garage, so I think it’s perhaps true that they might have cased the neighborhood and seen the car was always on the drive. It was locked,” Nancy said.
Authorities found the car six days later abandoned in a field about 6 miles away. It had been painted black, a car door open, and with a flat tire.
"Just to know that someone had been on our property with ill will on their mind makes you uneasy, and for the first few days we were really uncomfortable, but as time has passed we feel less unsafe," Nancy said.
She stressed her focus is now on preventing something like this from happening again.
“We are going to take some measures. We’re getting that garage cleaned out so that we park inside. We’re going to add a motion detector light on the driveway, and I think those things will make us feel safer,” Nancy said.
Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin suggests not only securing your vehicle and making sure all valuable items are out of your vehicle, but also putting your garage door down when you're elsewhere on your property-- that an open garage can be an open invitation for individuals to come and take your property.
Hewitt Police also have a social media program called #HewittHustle that gives tips on property crime prevention for neighborhoods and businesses. Both Temple and Belton police departments have a similar program on social media called #9pmRoutine.