Campaign aims to inform Texans of vehicle-related crimes.
SAN ANTONIO – The Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority (MVCPA) and the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) have partnered in a statewide awareness campaign to aid in the prevention of vehicle crimes and catalytic converter theft by encouraging Texans to “Lock It Down!” as vehicle-related crimes surge across the state.
“Texas currently ranks second in the country for the largest number of motor vehicle crimes, with more than 65,000 cars and trucks stolen and nearly 200,000 burglarized every year,” said Rich Johnson, ICT Director of Communications and Public Affairs. “This campaign is designed to amplify awareness of these issues and empower community members with simple, highly-effective ways to help prevent motor vehicle crime–such as remembering to always lock your vehicle.”
The top vehicle theft and burglary prevention tips are:
- Hide your valuables from plain sight to avoid attracting thieves.
- Lock your vehicle and take your keys.
- Never hide a second set of keys in or on your vehicle.
- Park in well-lit areas and attended parking lots.
- Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will only be away for a minute.
- Should your vehicle be stolen, call law enforcement and your insurer immediately. Reporting a vehicle as soon as possible after it is stolen increases the chance of recovery.
In addition to theft within vehicles, there have been more than 65,000 reported incidents of stolen vehicle parts in Texas totaling in excess of $95 million, according to the MVCPA.
Catalytic converters are a common stolen part due to the precious metals they hold. Commercial vehicles and those with higher ground clearance are often targeted for their easy accessibility to thieves.
Tips for prevention of catalytic converter theft are:
- Etch or paint your catalytic converter.
- Contact your local law enforcement department to see if they offer free catalytic converter engraving and high-heat painting or have community events planned with this type of activation.
- Park your vehicle in a garage, secure area, or well-lit area to discourage thieves.
- Install a catalytic converter anti-theft shield. These forms bolt over your converter and act as a deterrent to thieves whose goal is speed.
Other types of vehicle fraud include:
- Title Fraud – Fictitious paperwork for stolen vehicles. Non-English-speaking communities are the most vulnerable to receiving these fake titles.
- Registration Fraud – When vehicles cannot pass emissions inspections or cannot be registered due to title issues, owners often resort to purchasing false registration documents or illegally issued temporary permits.
- VIN Fraud (VIN switches/VIN Cloning) – In an effort to mask stolen cars, thieves take a vehicle identification number (VIN number) from another similar make and model of car and make counterfeit VIN plates that will be installed onto the stolen car.
The Lock It Down! campaign was created to help deliver the above awareness and prevention information to areas most impacted by motor vehicle crime. Campaign elements include partnering with safety task forces statewide, public service announcements, social media activations, distribution of branded swag items, digital advertising efforts, and a microsite with additional resources.
For more information, visit LockItDownTX.com, or follow us on social media at @lockitdowntx.
About the Insurance Council of Texas
The Insurance Council of Texas is a nonprofit trade association that promotes the property and casualty insurance industry by providing relevant information and resources to its members, the public, regulators, and the media. Learn more at insurancecouncil.org.
About the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority
The Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority (MVCPA) is a program within the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The Texas Legislature established MVCPA in 1991 to combat motor vehicle theft, burglary, and fraud-related motor vehicle crime in Texas. For more information about how to protect yourself from motor vehicle crime, visit MVCPA at TxDMV.gov/about-us/MVCPA.