Preliminary figures show that there were 77 cars reported stolen in Amarillo in October.
So far in 2015, there are 658 reported auto theft cases, compared to 697 at this same time last year. This is a 5.6% decrease, but even one car stolen is too many when it is your car.
Stolen cars are found connected to many other crimes. Criminals use them for transportation and change vehicles as frequently as they can in an effort to keep officers from recognizing them by their vehicle.
Cars have been stolen when auto burglars searching inside cars find spare keys “hidden” in the vehicle. That car often becomes transportation to their next crime, to be found by an officer at another crime scene or being driven by someone that the criminal allowed to drive it.
The coming cold weather often brings a noticeable increase in auto thefts. People leave their car running to warm up or to keep it warm while they are inside a store. The criminals know this, see the unoccupied and idling car, and can quickly get in and be gone. These thieves don’t want to be out walking in the cold any more than the rest of us.
The Department’s Holiday Patrol effort is under way, but you can help the APD keep auto theft numbers down and protect yourself from being a victim. Avoid leaving your car unoccupied while it is running, or at least lock the door to prevent it from being taken as easily. Don’t leave spare keys “hidden” in a vehicle, the auto burglars and auto thieves are much better at finding them than you are at hiding them. The Amarillo Police Department wants you to have a safe and happy holiday season!