June 7, 2017
After several vehicle burglary calls Wednesday morning, Wichita Falls police are reminding people to take steps to prevent themselves from becoming victims.
In a WFPD news release, the department stated one of the best ways to discourage potential burglaries is to lock your vehicles.
The release called attention to the "Lock. Take. Hide." strategy commonly encouraged on signs around Wichita Falls.
The first step is to lock the vehicle. "It takes seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise," the release states.
The next step is to take items from the vehicle, if at all possible, or hide valuables from sight. "If a criminal doesn't see anything, they're less likely to break in and will move on."
Police also recommended parking in less secluded areas when at all possible. Well-lit parking lots with good "sight lines" make vehicles more visible to other people.
For those with aftermarket car stereos, consider taking the face plate off when leaving the vehicle. If the car isn't equipped with such a stereo, they suggest buying a model with removable face plates.
Another useful tool in covering property if it were to be stolen is keeping a record serial numbers of valuable items. If they were to be taken, having the serial number makes it more likely that the suspect will be identified if he or she tries to pawn the property.
Sgt. Harold McClure, WFPD public information officer, suggested using the Report It (http://wtrne.ws/ReportIt) feature on Leads Online to keep a digital record of the serial numbers that a person can access from anywhere with an internet connection.
"It's basically just a digital way to save identifying information like VIN numbers and ID numbers," McClure said. "It's a safe way for citizens to log their information, so they can pull it up if they are a victim."
McClure stressed this isn't a database that law enforcement has access to pull information from but is a secure location for the public to house records to provide police or anyone else needing the information.