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CCPD warns holiday shoppers of auto thefts

Tips to secure your vehicle during holiday season
Preventing auto theft
Posted at 11:18 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 12:18:03-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Holiday shopping is a time spent going from store to store looking for the perfect present.

It could take hours before you get back home. That could be putting you at risk as auto theft is higher during the holidays.

When something is stolen it leads to those involved feeling sad and upset.

That's how Victor Matheaus felt six years ago.

He went to work, parked his vehicle on company property which was gated, only to get off a long shift and find his truck gone.

"Why is the gate open, when the gate was locked and I realized there's a vehicle missing and it's mine," Matheaus said.

After the theft, Matheaus attempted to track down his missing vehicle.

He called the Corpus Christi Police Dept. and searched himself but came up with nothing.

Even more heartbreaking, he and his wife, Michelle, received the title to the truck a week after it was stolen.

"We were able to get her to our wants and then somebody just took her out from underneath this," Michelle Matheaus said.

This incident is proof anyone can become a victim of theft. And with people out shopping for Christmas gifts, criminals are more likely to strike.

To help relieve some of the questions about auto theft and auto burglary, the Auto Theft Task Force has been around for several years. The campaigning for the task force can be seen around town, to keep people alert during their holiday shopping.

The task force aims to educate the community, especially keeping vehicles secure.

"They're going from store to store and they may not properly hide their items, or they may not take it home," CCPD Lt. Micheal Pena said.

Pena also says to avoid leaving keys inside the vehicle and try to hide items from view and also don't leave a vehicle running when you step away.

Victims of auto thefts or other crime calls can call 911 or CCPD's non-emergency number to reach the Auto Theft Task Force at (361) 886-2600.