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APD launches new campaign aimed at decreasing car burglaries

Published On: Oct 18 2013 08:43:56 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 18 2013 09:26:27 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Six hundred and sixty seven. That is how many car burglary reports Abilene police have received this year so far.

Crime is on the rise in Abilene for 2013. Abilene police compared crime data from 2012 through august with the same time period this year, and there's been a dramatic increase.

Collectively, violent crimes are up nearly five percent, with aggravated assault and robbery at the top of the list. Property crime is up nearly seven percent, and there have been 171 cars stolen in Abilene this year so far.

APD is trying to do what they can to cut back on crime, one step at a time.

The department has teamed up with some local businesses to remind citizens that car burglaries can be prevented.

With an average of 63 car per month, Police Chief Stan Standridge said it's a serious problem. If you think just locking your car is enough to keep your valuables safe, you're wrong.

"First of all, a locked car is no longer a deterrent," said Standridge. "They will break your window. It takes a matter of seconds."

In fact, it takes just 3 to 5 seconds for a an experienced prowler to break into a car.

"The reality is, weekly we have firearms stolen, a tremendous assortment of electronics, purses, wallets," said Standridge.

APD hopes new signs in areas considered to be "high prowl" will remind citizens to remove those valuables from their cars.

D1 Sports on Ridgemont Dr. is participating in the effort.

"Unfortunately, I would come in in the morning and see remnants of cars that had been broken in and it breaks my heart because people work so hard for their things," said Director of Operations Vickie Meyers. "So what this does is make people be aware of their belongings."

Standridge hopes that awareness will help get those high crime numbers down before the end of the year.

"Our citizens are our first line of defense against crime," he said. "We are there to work alongside them. Together, we can do better. We must do better in 2013."

Standridge added that thefts from cars can lead to spinoff crimes. A stolen wallet can mean credit card fraud within minutes.