Area law enforcement are asking Texoma residents to lock their vehicles and secure their valuables when away from their vehicles. This comes as both Sherman and Denison police departments have reported an uptick in vehicle burglaries in recent weeks.
Police officials noted that the majority of the vehicles that have been targeted were left unlocked and were easy targets for burglars.
“It is to the point that we are having so much valuable property taken our of vehicles that we wanted to remind people to secure then,” Denison Police Lt. Mike Eppler said. “It is basically the same as shopping season safety.”
Eppler said while there has been an uptick in vehicle burglaries, there is no evidence that ties the incidents together, and he did not think they were all related.
The stolen items have included electronics, purses, money computers, jewelry and — most notably — firearms. Within the last two weeks, Eppler said two firearms were stolen from unoccupied vehicles, with the latest theft occurring Wednesday in the 1100 block of Cortez.
Sherman Police Sgt. Brett Mullen said the city of Sherman has also seen an increase of thefts in recent months. In many cases, the thefts appear to be crimes of opportunity where a criminal look for easy targets.
“Burglars have figured this out, and they don’t have to break windows when they can walk down a line and pull on door handles silently,” he said.
In addition to securing the vehicle, Eppler said residents can lower their risk of being targeted by removing and securing valuable items that might attract attention. In the event that someone can’t carry an item with them, Eppler said residents can still lower their risk by hiding it out of view or securing it in the trunk of the vehicle.
While many of the targets have been crime of opportunity, Mullen said this can further reduce the risk of being targeted by burglars. In addition to putting items in a trunk, Mullen said high-value items like firearms can also be secured in a small safe kept in the vehicle.
“If they walk by a car and see anything they want they are much more likely to break that window,” he said.