ABILENE, Texas - Motor vehicle thefts increased by 45 percent in Abilene between 2012 and 2013.
According to Officer George Spindler, Chevrolets topped the list of the most stolen brands with 66 thefts. Ford followed with 39 thefts and Dodge and Toyota tied for third with 14 thefts each. Within those brands, Chevrolet pickup trucks were most stolen with 27 thefts. Those were followed by 20 Chevrolet passenger cars stolen, 19 Ford pickup trucks stolen, 17 Chevrolet SUVs stolen and nine Ford passenger cars stolen.
Spindler said it is difficult to speculate why those vehicles topped the list; however, protecting your vehicle is simply a matter of common sense.
"Do not maintain spare keys in your vehicle," Spindler said. "We know that's been a problem in the past and we also know that running your vehicle unattended -- whether you're warming it or cooling it off -- and leaving it unlocked is a recipe for theft."
Possessions should also be removed from your vehicle when it is unattended.
"If you have a lot of possessions in your vehicle that are going to be attractive to a thief, he or she might just say 'hey, you know what?...Maybe it's not just about stealing what's in this vehicle, let me steal the vehicle as well,'" Spindler said.
According to Raids Online, thefts were reported all over the city in 2013; however, the hot spot was in south Abilene between Sayles Boulevard and Butternut Streets.
Police recommend you always have your license plate number as well as information on the make and model of your vehicle handy at all times so you can help police find your vehicle if it is ever stolen.