With the holidays comes not only a time for celebration, but a time when auto thefts greatly increase.
According to an annual report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, New Year’s Day was the number one holiday for stolen vehicles last year — 2,184.
The report, which analyzed data from the National Crime Information Center, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day were ranked No. 6, 9, and 11, respectively, for holiday car thefts.
Holidays, ranked in order of vehicles thefts in 2013 are as follows:
1. New Year’s Day (2,184)
2. Halloween (1,998)
3. Memorial Day (1,972)
4. Labor Day (1,915)
5. Presidents’ Day (1,894)
6. Christmas Eve (1,774)
7. Valentine’s Day (1,757)
8. Independence Day (1,750)
9. New Year’s Eve (1,715)
10. Thanksgiving (1,353)
11. Christmas Day (1,224)
According to the Turlock Police Department, there were several auto thefts and burglaries during the week of Christmas.
An unknown suspect pried open a locked trailer and stole property sometime between Dec. 19 and 20. On Dec. 21, an unknown suspect broke into a locked vehicle overnight and stole several items.
On the afternoon Dec. 22, a vehicle was burglarized in the parking lot of the Save Mart Supermarket on Lander Avenue.
The next day, Dec. 23, a stereo and miscellaneous property was stolen from a vehicle on 1100 block of Kenwood Avenue, an unknown suspect stole gift cards from a vehicle on the 1400 block of Bronco Court, and an unknown suspect punched the lock punched a vehicle’s door to steal a stereo and bags of merchandise.
Christmas Eve and Day saw the largest amount of vehicle thefts and burglaries, with five reported by the Turlock Police Department each day.
On Christmas Eve, two vehicles were broken into, one in the Dick’s Sporting Goods parking lot, and had their stereos stolen. On the 2500 block of Bucknell Street, a suspect stole property from an unlocked car; a suspect forced entry and stolen property from a vehicle on the 1700 block of Denair Avenue. Finally, a locked vehicle was stolen from a driveway on the 1700 block of Blevins Court.
Christmas Day saw three vehicles stolen overnight, one stolen in a 30 minute timeframe that evening, and an unknown suspect steal a toolbox and tools from another vehicle.
In 2013, Turlock saw less car thefts (431) than is saw in 2012 (511), with Stanislaus County experiencing a 15.6 percent drop in auto thefts from 2012 to 2013, reports the California High Patrol.
Despite the drop, it’s still important to take proper measures to ensure your vehicle is not stolen or burglarized.
Residents are also encouraged to park their vehicles in a safe location, preferably the garage. If the garage is unavailable, the driveway is the next safest spot.
If neither location is available, cars should be parked where they can be seen, near a window.
Also remember to close and lock all car doors and windows before leaving a vehicle unattended, and never leave valuables in plain sight.