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Police hope new signs will help reduce auto thefts, burglaries


“Lock. Take. Hide.”

That’s part of a new crime prevention initiative from the Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD), the City of Las Cruces said in a news release.

LCPD’s Community Outreach team is posting aluminum signs in heavily trafficked parking lots encouraging motorists to “Lock your car, Take your keys and Hide your things.”

“The concept is to remind drivers to do their part in limiting the likelihood of becoming a victim of auto burglary or auto theft,” LCPD Interim Chief Jeremy Story said. “Many auto burglaries and auto thefts are crimes of opportunity. Cars are left unlocked, unattended with valuables inside and keys in the ignition. That means there is temptation for a crime and little resistance. We want motorists to help us limit crimes of opportunity.”

In the first six months of 2023, LCPD has seen fewer incidents of auto thefts and auto burglaries than in the same period in 2022, the city said. Through June 2023, auto thefts were down 15 percent and auto burglaries were down eight percent compared to the first six months of 2022.

Police encourage motorists to follow these simple tips to help limit the chances of becoming a victim of auto theft or auto burglary:

  • Keep items of intrigue (backpacks, luggage, packages, shopping bags, cell phone chargers, electronics, tools, etc.) out of sight.
  • Remove or properly secure tools and other gear commonly carried in trailers or pickup beds.
  • Do not leave firearms or ammunition inside an unattended vehicle.
  • Do not leave spare keys or garage-door openers inside your vehicle.
  • Do not leave key fobs inside an unattended vehicle.
  • Do not leave bank cards, cash or important documents inside your vehicle.
  • Roll up windows and keep doors locked when leaving vehicle unattended.
  • Remove the key from the ignition and do not leave your vehicle unlocked and unattended while running a quick errand or pumping gasoline.
  • If possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit area or inside a garage.
  • Use a self-arming audible vehicle alarm system.
  • Consider installing a monitored home security system or a motion-sensor “smart” alarm such as a Ring or Nest doorbell system that overlooks the driveway. These “smart” alarms record video and send alerts via cell phone when motion is detected.
  • Immediately report any suspicious behavior or activity to the police. Call 911 if it is an emergency or call the LCPD nonemergency number at 575-528-4310. Call the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office at 575-525-1911

Nearly 60 “Lock, Take, Hide” signs have been posted at various locations throughout Las Cruces to date, the news release said. More signs will be posted soon in parking lots with high traffic.

 Business owners within Las Cruces city limits who would like to have a “Lock, Take, Hide” sign posted on their property are encouraged to contact LCPD via email at LCPDcommunityadvocate@lascruces.gov.