While many are bustling around town getting their last-minute holiday gifts, thieves are making plans of their own. In recent months, both Austin Police and the Williamson County Sheriff's Office have received more reports of car burglaries.
Austin Police shared this message online:
“In recent months, there has been an increase in vehicle burglaries in the northeast Austin area. The Austin Police Department reminds residents to remove, or hide any valuables from their cars, and lock your doors. Do not leave anything of value in your vehicle in plain view (cell phones, cell phone chargers, tablets, laptops, iPods, GPS units, back packs, etc.). Either place items in the trunk, out of sight/covered, or take the items with you. If you are gift shopping, please hide, cover and lock up those gifts if possible, and avoid leaving items in plain view. Please do not hesitate to call 911, and report any suspicious persons, or activity, and give as much detailed information if you observe any suspicious persons, or activity while in your neighborhood, or out shopping.”
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said the Teravista area was hit hard. Over 30 cars were reported being burglarized. It's what law enforcement see time and time again.
“Most of the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked,” Sheriff Chody said.
His advice is simple: Hide your items and, most importantly, lock your doors.
"Taking out of plain view or just not having valuable items in your car when you go shopping," he added.
But if you have to leave the items inside, it’s suggested to conceal the belongings in your trunk.
Although hiding and locking your doors doesn't always prevent thieves, it does often deter them.
“Why would a theft want to bother with breaking a window and bringing attention to themselves,” Sheriff Chody said.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said to keep serial numbers on file in case an item does get stolen, they can better identify belongings.
They also take part in what they call the 9 p.m. routine, a social media reminder to the community -- a time to go out to your car and clear it out, taking in valuables to put them in a safe place.