Auto theft in our area - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Auto theft in our area

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Amarillo, TX - Auto theft is on the rise in our area and across the state.

Texas is currently ranked number 2 in the nation for auto thefts and they have gone up over 30 percent in Amarillo.

So far this year APD has had 107 reports of stolen vehicles.

Corporal Jerry Neufeld says 70 to 80 percent of those happen when people leave their keys in the ignition. "Sometimes especially during those morning when it is frosty, icy, or snowy we like to go out, start the car up, go back inside finish our cup of coffee or getting ready and then come back outside. It is so easy for someone on a residential block to look down the block and tell which cars are running".

A local business owner, Craig Moses, installs remote start on vehicles says, starting your car and leaving the keys in the ignition, while you go inside, is always a bad idea. "Anytime you leave your vehicle unattended and running, you know you are kind of desperate sometimes to do that, but you can expose yourself to auto theft, and it makes it very easy from someone to take your vehicle for sure."

Neufeld says most of the time car thieves are on the lookout during winter months for unattended cars that are left are running. "They will sometime jump in a car, steal it, and drive to another neighborhood, jump out of it and go looking for another car that is running, take it and take off again. So they may do this, two or three times. And there may be two or three of them in one vehicle that go out and see home many cars they can steal at one time."

In 2013 Amarillo had over 800 car thefts.