The official kick-off to the holiday shopping season is just one week from Friday. However, while you are looking for deals on Black Friday, Lubbock authorities say criminals may be looking for you.
Police told NewsChannel 11 parking lots like the south plains mall are one of the top three most likely places thieves strike. The other two are movie theaters and day cares.
Every two and half minutes in Texas, a car is burglarized, but you can make yourself less of a target.
If your car is stolen in the Hub City, your car may end up in a Lubbock lake, like the one at Mae Simmons Park.
"There were 12 pulled out just several months ago 11 of them had their keys left in the he vehicle and we think the 12th one probably did. But it had since been in there since '91," said Kat Anderson Crime Prevention Coordinator with the South Plains Auto Theft Task Force.
Last year more than 920 vehicles were stolen in the Lubbock area. Anderson said the number of car thefts and auto burglaries increases during the holidays.
"In the winter months people will have a tendency to run into a convenience store, its cold they leave their car running and you're car's gone when you come back out," Anderson said.
During the holiday season the number of auto burglaries also increases. So police say when you are going shopping at the mall take along your purse and put your bags in the trunk where they can't be seen.
Lubbock Police Sgt Clay Winters said, "If you do have to leave something in your vehicle don't leave it in plain sight, don't leave your vehicle un locked. It's unbelievable how much people just leave their vehicle unlocked with property in it."
Sgt. Winters said auto burglaries are crimes of opportunity.
"It looks like there's a bag down in the floor board. A video game sitting in the back seat, I mean that's just too easy," Winters said.
However, it is also easy to take the necessary steps to protect your car and valuables this holiday season.
"This looks pretty good don't see anything in plain view the doors appear to be locked," Sgt. Winter added about a different car in the South Plains Mall parking lot.
To keep your car and belongings safe this holiday season here are a few things to remember. Hide your belongings or even better take important items out of your car. Do not forget to lock your car and more importantly take your keys along with you.
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