- Nearly half of all stolen vehicles are left unlocked and approximately 20% are stolen with the keys in the ignition.
- Many people do not realize leaving your keys in the ignition with the motor running is against the law.
- Many vehicle thefts occur at the owners residence. Other "hot spots" are malls, shopping centers, hotels and churches.
- Most stolen vehicles are at least four years old.
- More than two-thirds of all auto theft occur at night.
- Anti theft devices stop many amateurs and slow down professionals, making that target more difficult.
Types of Car Thieves
- Steals a vehicle to get from point A to point B (joy ride).
- Steals for drug money.
- Steals to commit another crime.
- Steals for gang initiation.
Notice: Driving a friend or family members vehicle without permission can be reported as a theft.
- Steals for parts resale (chop shop).
- Steals to change the identity of the vehicle for resale to unsuspecting victim.
- Steals to have the vehicle export out of the county.
Things to be aware of when buying a used car
- Be suspicious of any deals that are "too good to be true".
- Make the sure the title and registration match the name of the person selling the car.
- Ensure the VIN (vehicle identification number) is secure on the dash.
- Make sure the VIN on the dash matches the VIN on the title, registration sticker, and inspection.
- Check the ignition for damage and tool marks (from being tampered with).
- Be aware of a fresh paint job. This may indicate an attempt to change the vehicle's identity.
Note: It does not matter who you are or what you do, if you buy a stolen car it will be confiscated and you will not be reimbursed for the money paid. Do your research before making the purchase.
** information obtained from the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority.