SAN ANTONIO — Data from the San Antonio Police Department shows vehicle thefts have increased 26.14 percent in the last year.
From Jan. to Sept. of 2021 there were 6,676 thefts. In 2022, over the same time period, there have already been 8,421 thefts.
Kens 5 reached out to SAPD Thursday to find out what you need to know about this years thefts.
1. Thieves go after trucks more than any other vehicle
Police data shows thieves have stolen 1,177 Ford F-series trucks since the beginning of the year, which is far above every other vehicle category. Chevrolet pickups took the number two spot at 614 thefts and Dodge Ram Pickups were number three at 517. No other vehicle category even broke 200 thefts. So if you have a truck, lock it up.
2. Thieves favor parking lots and commercial areas
Data from the LexisNexis community crime map shows many thefts occurring near Ingram park mall, in the medical center, along the I-10 corridor between 410 and 1604, and near 410 south of 151. There have also been consistent thefts along UTSA Blvd. Police told Kens 5 Thursday crime could happen at any location in the city but people needed to be careful in strip malls and the streets nearby.
3. Thieves consistently hunt down unlocked vehicles
SAPD said approximately 60% of vehicles stolen are left unlocked. Police advise people to never leave a second set of keys in a vehicle, to never leave an unattended vehicle running for even a minute, and to not keep insurance information in a vehicle.
Police also suggested using a steering wheel club or installing a kill switch on vehicles.
"A common factor we see in these incidents are vehicles being left on, with the keyfob inside, while unattended or leaving the vehicle unlocked. Valuables in plain view draw attention to vehicles as well," SAPD said in an email.
Still, just making absolutely sure your vehicle is locked will go a long way to protect yourself.
4. Thieves seem to prefer weekends
Vehicles can be stolen at any time but LexisNexis community crime map data for the last two months showed thefts typically happened more on Saturdays than any other day of the week.
While it is unclear if this is due to more people being out at restaurants or letting their guard down the weekend, it's an important reminder that thieves know when people stop thinking about safety leave their vehicles vulnerable.
Additional tips from SAPD:
- Hide – your belongings from sight to avoid attracting thieves
- Do not leave firearms in your vehicle
- Park in well-lit areas or attended lots
- Park in secure locations like a garage or parking structure
- Never leave your vehicle running, even if you are gone for a minute
- Do not leave your registration, title, or insurance card in your vehicle
- Install your own GPS tracking system