AUSTIN (KXAN) — There have been more than 4,200 auto thefts in Austin so far this year, which is about 600 more than this time last year.
Detective Julian Ogle with the Austin Police Department’s auto theft interdiction unit said stopping an auto theft can be as simple as turning off your car when you leave or keeping your keys inside your home.
“A conservative estimate of how many thefts we have where the keys are in the vehicle if not with the vehicle running it is probably a good three quarters,” said Ogle.
Ogle said these crimes are happening all over Austin, but areas that are denser, like central Austin, were more prone to these thefts.
When a thief is caught on camera or they are caught in the act, it can lead to an arrest, but there are quite a few people who get away with the crimes.
“We do the best we can with what we’ve got,” said Ogle. “A lot of times there is no footage to connect anyone to, and a lot of these cases do get suspended.”
How many are getting suspended though?
“Quite a few,” said Ogle.
Ogle said some of the people they catch are usually repeat offenders.
“So most offenders, a lot of them tend to be re-offenders,” said Ogle. “So you catch someone on one theft, and they have probably been responsible for many other thefts.”
Ogle said a GPS tracker can help track down a stolen car, but cameras can make a big difference in finding a suspect.