Police say car burglaries are up 3 percent and car thefts are up 15 percent from a year ago. They hope their efforts to educate the public and deter thieves will pay off this year.
Volunteers with Austin Police are staying busy this holiday season, etching vehicle id numbers to as many cars as they can. They say marking cars windows all the way around will discourage many would be thieves from taking your car. But they say also use your common sense.
"You know lock your car take your keys don't leave your car running, dont leave keys in the ignition", said Diana Amaro, an Austin Police neighborhood liaison, "A lot of people go into a convenience store they run inside the store come back out and there's no vehicle to be found".
They say Etching discourages thieves because it makes it harder to sell parts like car doors and windshield.
"If you go to a car dealership you will be charged between two to 400 dollars for this service" added Amaro, "We provide if for free to the community".
And while car thefts are one problem, Police say burglaries are also up 3 percent this year from last. They say too many people are leaving too many valuables in plain sight attracting thieves. Today, volunteers with APD were out looking through windows looking for electronics, purses or anything else thieves would be looking for. They warn thieves are pretty smart looking for the smallest details.
"If you got the cables hooked up, the power cord hooked up well guess what it's going to something so they dont' actually have to see the item" said Jim Gattis, an Austin Police volunteer, "They may see that power cord and they may say well there's something that that plugs to so I'm going to get it".
Police say be vigilant and mindful with your belongings, because it takes less than 2 minutes for anyone to burglarize your car.
Note: If you've been thinking about getting your car etched for free you have another chance to do so next Thursday, the crew will be parked at the HEB on Ed BLuestein and Manor Road in Austin from 10am to 1pm.
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