Lock, Take and Hide For Black Friday and Beyond
Why make it easy for criminals to break into your car during the start of this holiday shopping season? The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) offers a simple crime prevention reminder to Lock your car, Take your keys and Hide your possessions this month. Working with local police departments, these crime prevention signs will be appearing in five major cities across the state in the next few days in an effort to prevent auto burglaries and auto thefts in the state.
“During this holiday shopping season, criminals will be cruising parking lots looking for vehicles that have gifts or electronics left in plain sight,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “Taking just one minute to secure your vehicle could save you a lot of time and trouble by making it more difficult to burglarize or steal your car.”
For the past 10 years the Insurance Council of Texas has donated thousands of the Lock, Take and Hide signs to police departments all over Texas for a good reason; they work. ICT has worked with 25 police departments to place the signs in Texas cities. This month the signs will be placed in the shopping centers and apartment complexes in Richardson, Fort Worth, Celina, Lubbock and El Paso.
“Wherever the signs are placed, we see a reduction in both auto burglaries and auto thefts,” said Captain Dee Rowell with the Fort Worth Police Department. “Criminals are very observant and they seem to steer clear of areas where the Lock, Take and Hide signs are posted.”
ICT’s Lock, Take and Hide program began in 2005 with a request from the Austin Police Department. Other police departments quickly turned to ICT requesting the crime prevention signs and they continue to ask for more. (See map) Police departments work with local businesses to use the signs as not only a helpful reminder to shoppers, but as a warning to potential auto burglars to avoid the area.
“The National Insurance Crime Bureau tells us that one out of every eight drivers leaves their keys or FOB inside the cars that are stolen,” said Hanna. “Taking your keys with you should be your first thought every time you get out of your vehicle.”