WACO, TX — Car thefts and break-ins are a common crime. Although July shows car thefts are down 10 percent in Waco, it doesn't mean the thieves have given up.
It starts with the car owner. We have to make sure we're locking our vehicles and all valuables are out of sight.
July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention month.
Waco police gave us some tips on how to keep your car safe, and give you piece of mind when you aren't around to watch it.
"You have to stay constantly vigil about what's going on in your neighborhood to protect your neighbors yourself and your property," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton.
It helps when you listen to your gut feeling. If something isn't sitting right with you, or you think you're seeing suspicious activity, it's always a good idea to call your local police station.
"If somebody is walking through your neighborhood you've never seen before, please call us and let us come out and be aware of who's in your neighborhood," Swanton said.
Texas ranked number two in the nation with the most vehicle thefts, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2017, there were over 68,000 vehicle thefts in the state.
The Woodway Public Safety Department reminds people to set an alarm on your phone telling you to check your vehicle before heading to bed. They call it the 9 p.m. routine check.
It's for you to go out and make sure your car is locked and valuables are out of sight. Although it's a good practice each night, thefts can happen at any time of day.
"We've had thefts in the middle of the afternoon at a restaurant a crowded restaurant where people have stolen vehicles broken into cars burglarized cars," Swanton said.
Even some loose change sitting out in the front of the car can be enough for someone to break in.
"The important thing is don't leave things in your car giving an opportunity for a thief to come along and take," Swanton said.