New Technology & Personal Responsibility Help to Reduce Auto Theft

At an average of 42 per day, Houston has the highest number of auto thefts in Texas. Area law enforcement agencies are teaming up to reduce that number. Retailers of well known products were at the Houston Police Department to talk about technology that could prevent the theft of a vehicle. Pat Hernandez has more.

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt says efforts are making a dent in the number of vehicles reported stolen.

"In Houston, from January through October 18th, the number of auto thefts were 12-thousand, 341. That's an average of 42 thefts per day. Of course, that dropped 4-point-7 percent versus last year at the same period of time."

But during the same period, the burglary of motor vehicles increased by almost 20-percent.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and Houston Police Chief Harold HurttTwo new pieces of technology, a remote ignition blockĀ and a slowdown device that are operated by companies such as OnStar, could prevent auto thefts and burglaries from occurring. Chief Hurtt calls them life savers.

"I wish we had them in every car. This would go a long ways in reducing injury and deaths to citizens, suspects, as our officers."

It's an easy crime to commit, but also an easy crime to prevent. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia says motorists can help, since 50-percent of vehicles burglarized are left unlocked.

"It never hurts to remind ourselves of the basics: lock your car, take your keys, don't leave valuable property in plain view. That has been an age old lesson in law enforcement, and we need to do our part individually as members of this community."

An auto theft prevention field event hosted by are law enforcement agencies and related companies will be held Saturday from 9am to 1pm at Greenspoint Mall.

PH, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...