Investigation into a recent rash of vehicle burglaries in Gainesville is underway, authorities said.
From Nov. 15-28 there were 11 reports of vehicles being burglarized, Gainesville Police Department spokeswoman Belva McClinton said. During the same time last year, there was only one reported vehicle burglary, she said.
“The majority of the vehicles were left unlocked,” McClinton said.
Five of the 11 reported vehicle break-ins were reported on Nov. 22, according to police. Those five occurred in the 1800 block of Silver Oaks Drive, the 1500 block of Nila Drive and the 1300 block of Rebecca Drive.
McClinton said those five burglaries have a possible suspect identified. However, as of Monday, Nov. 30, it was unknown if that suspect was connected to any of the other reported burglaries, she said.
Police did not say what, if anything, was taken during the reported vehicle burglaries.
While the holiday season might be a busy time of year, don't forget to lock your car, officials said.
In Texas, nearly 200,000 vehicles are burglarized each year, according to a press release from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
If You Like It — Lock It, says the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority. Locking your car is the most effective way to prevent burglary. Always remember to take or hide your things, officials said.
McClinton said anyone with information about any of the break-ins is encouraged to contact the police department by calling 940-668-7777 or through Facebook at Facebook.com/GTPolice. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact the Crimes Tip Hotline at 940-612-0000.
The following safety tips are from the TxDMV for a safe and secure holiday:
• Lock your vehicle and take your keys.
• Take your things. If you cannot, then hide valuables from plain sight to avoid attracting thieves.
• Never hide a second set of keys in or on your vehicle. Thieves can find these easily.
• Park in well-lighted areas or attended lots.
• Never leave your vehicle running unattended, even if you will only be away for a moment.
• Don’t leave documents with important personal details in your vehicle.
• Park with your wheels turned toward the curb and use your emergency brake, making your vehicle harder to tow away. Wheels should also be turned to the side in driveways and parking lots.
• If you have a garage, use it. Lock your garage as well as your vehicle doors. Your vehicle may be more vulnerable when you park outside.
• Consider after-market theft prevention devices compatible with the manufacturer’s recommendations.