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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Lock. Take. Hide. when you ride

Bryan+Police+Department+suggest+the+Take.+Lock.+Hide.+method+to+decrease+your+likelihood+of+car+burglary.
Photo by Photo by Dalia Muayad

Bryan Police Department suggest the Take. Lock. Hide. method to decrease your likelihood of car burglary.

There is no way to fully prevent a car burglary, but public safety officials say there are a few key strategies to keep your vehicle and other possessions safe.
The phrase “Lock. Take. Hide.” is a good way for drivers to remember what steps they can take to minimize their risk, according to Lieutenant Craig Anderson from the College Station Police Department.
Making sure your car is locked is a crucial step, according to Sergeant Ryan Bona of the Bryan Police Department. Bona said 80 percent of vehicles that were burglarized in Bryan-College Station were left unlocked.
According to a report by Bona, the number of burglaries significantly decreases if you simply lock your car and hide your valuables.
“Burglary suspects are hard to catch in the act because he or she could be in and out in 15 seconds or less,” Bona said. “Fingerprints, as well as a citizen’s phone call reporting suspicious activity can increase our chances of catching the suspect.”
Car burglary is a difficult crime to commit at Texas A&M University due to the 81 police officers that work to keep Texas A&M safe, according to Lieutenant Bobby Richardson of Texas A&M University Police.
“We have patrol officers that regularly patrol parking lots,” Richardson said. “Bicycle control officers move in and out of those lots very quickly and are more difficult to see. Also, no one associates a bicycle with a police officer, making bicycle officers very good at catching those individuals.”
While all burglars are different, they normally choose to steal an object that is clearly visible, making it important to hide valuables or take them with you, according to Anderson.
“Normally, burglars steal what is in plain sight like a backpack, purse, weapon or laptop,” Anderson said. “This can lead a suspect to bust your window and break into your car if it is not already unlocked.”
Historically, car burglaries tend to happen where there is a large concentration of vehicles, according to Bona.
“Apartment complexes, gyms, grocery stores and retail stores are places burglars historically search,” Bona said. “Having a high concentration of cars makes it easier for the burglar to search for whatever could be of value.”
Burglars have distinctive patterns that show when they are going to strike, according to Bona.
“Some burglars only go out at night and only break into cars at residential areas,” Bona said. “We have others that only go out during the day time and they go to a gym because they know the victim will be without his or her purse or wallet for about an hour and they might leave it in their car. It can be very scary to realized that you are being surveilled.”
According to Anderson, remembering to take proper precautions can help you avoid becoming a victim of a car burglary.
“‘Lock. Take. Hide.’ significantly decreases burglaries,” Anderson said. “Lock your car. Take all of your valuables inside with you. Hide your valuables if you leave them in your car. Think ‘out of sight, out of mind.’”
Being proactive and smart about locking your car is important, according to Richardson, who said UPD has recorded 31 burglary of motor vehicle reports since March 2017.
“I can’t stress enough, lock your cars,” Richardson said. “If you leave anything valuable inside your car, make sure you hide it. Also, make sure you actually take your keys with you.”
In the event that something is stolen, keeping a record of all of your serial numbers is also very important, according to Bona.
“Technology and firearm serial numbers are very important to keep a record of in case anything does get stolen,” Bona said. “Having a record of your serial numbers can help us track your stolen items and it increases your chances of being reunited with them.”
Bona and Anderson both encourage the public to reach out to law enforcement if anyone sees any suspicious activity.

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