POSTED: Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 3:03pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 24, 2011 - 2:20am
With a spike in auto thefts across the Upper Valley, San Juan Police starts an Auto Theft Task Force.
"Beep, beep," the sound of a driver locking their car with a remote control lock button on their key chain.
Police said that sound alone is the best way to avoid having your vehicle stolen. Especially with car thefts on the rise in the Upper Valley.
"Within the past two weeks we've had a rash of stolen vehicles. Last week alone we had seven stolen trucks," said Cpl. Jose Trevino, San Juan Police Department.
Because of these high numbers, the San Juan Police Department recently formed an Auto Theft Unit. The two investigators that make up this task force have been through advanced auto theft prevention training.
But local citizens can also help by registering their vehicles with the San Juan 'Help End Auto Theft' program, called HEAT.
Once registered, the San Juan Police Department will gives a sticker to place on the back of the car. This way the police are able to pull over any vehicles bearing the sticker after 2:00 p.m., without probable cause, to verify ownership.
Police said the two most likely vehicles to be stolen are Ford F250's and Dodge Ram pick-up trucks. Recent arrests and recovery of four vehicles, police said those individuals taking these vehicles are Mexican nationals.
"These people that are brought over illegally are just used solely to steal and drive stolen trucks back into Mexico," said Trevino.
The vehicles are used to transport drugs, illegal immigrants, weapons, ammunition and money.
"We try to target hot spot areas, we try to target any vehicles that have any damage to the doors, that they might have made any type of forced entry, things of that nature" said Trevino.
Police said before leaving your vehicle to lock your doors and to remove any valuables from plain view. Police also recommend installing an alarm system.