Laredo Police Department sees an increase in vehicle theft

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 4:22 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tx. (KGNS) - A task force designed to investigate and prosecute vehicle theft and burglary incidents is seeing a change in its number of cases. It is part of the Laredo Police Department and it asks for the community’s help to find suspects related to vehicle theft.

Terry Juarez woke up to a real-life nightmare. Someone had broken into her truck and stolen it -- all of it caught on camera.

Juarez who lives in south Laredo is just one of many victims of vehicle theft in the city. “On our way to work, we discovered that our F-250 diesel truck was stolen from our driveway. We get a hold of our neighbor’s surveillance. We did see an individual trying to open our driver’s door. After a good five minutes of trying, he took off on it,” said Juarez.

It was a truck with a special meaning for Juarez. 10 years of trips and memorable adventures. “We were hoping to pass it to our oldest son. We have so many memories and what hurts me the most is not only that my husband had paid it off, but the maintenance. It is an older model of a truck. It’s a 2006 model, I believe. He put so much work into it,” said Juarez.

It’s a familiar tale: brazen criminals breaking into vehicles and stealing them from the owner’s home. Since the start of 2023, the Laredo Police Department has seen a slight increase in stolen vehicles, such as cars and pickup trucks that were left unattended. The department said there is a decrease in stolen tractors and SUVs.

Laredo police investigator Joe Baeza said there are ways to take care of your vehicle. “Make sure that they are locked, and make sure that you don’t leave things of value in the vehicle. Whatever you do, don’t leave valuable documents inside the vehicle like birth certificates, passports, credit cards, and checkbooks. All those things should never be left in the vehicle,” said Baeza.

With the help of technology, many victims of stolen vehicles are able to see the criminals on their home surveillance cameras. Other times, the faces of the suspects are put on display on the Laredo Auto Theft Task Force Facebook page in hopes to catch the criminals and for the victims to recover their property.

For Juarez, she will not stop searching for her vehicle and she encourages others to not give up hope. “I guess to everyone I would say to listen to the police department. Lock your vehicles. Unfortunately, in my situation, it was locked. If it ever was to happen to anybody, just please take out all your important belongings,” said Juarez.

The Laredo Police Department is asking people to report any stolen vehicles to their app or to call 911 immediately.

Below is the original story:

A Laredo Police Task Force that focuses on vehicle thefts is reporting an increase in cases.

According to the most recent information by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Texas ranks as one of the top ten states with the most motor vehicle thefts.

While pick up trucks and cars are the main targets for criminals, in Laredo, those vehicles are no exception.

Video that was sent by a KGNS viewer shows the moments a person is seen stealing her pick-up truck from her home.

It’s one of many cases that was reported to the Laredo Police Department.

Authorities say trucks and cars are the common vehicles that thieves target during the evening hours.

If you want to avoid getting your vehicle stolen, Investigator Joe Baeza advises vehicle owners to make sure the vehicle is locked.

“Just like right before at night, we check in the front door, there are very few cars that are not locked outside the house, so make sure that they are locked, make sure that you don’t leave things of value in the vehicle,” said Baeza. “Whatever you do, don’t leave valuable documents inside the vehicle like birth certificates, passports, credit cards, checkbooks, all those things should never be left in the vehicle.”

Baeza adds that if you are a victim of a stolen vehicle, you should contact the Laredo Police Department at 956-795-2800 and file a report.

You can also use the LPD app for more assistance.

Coming up on our later newscasts, we hear from a vehicle owner who recently had their truck stolen from their home.

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