The Southeast Texas auto theft task force has completed compiling statistics from 2013 which shows that auto thefts are down and full-size trucks are still at the top of auto thieves want lists.
Southeast Texans enjoyed a 5% decrease in reported auto thefts from 2012 while the Chevrolet full-size truck remained as the most popular stolen vehicle in the area.
Jefferson, Orange, Harden and Jasper Counties received a combined 804 auto theft reports and 2013. In comparison, there were 848 reports filed in 2012.
Hardin County experienced the largest drop in reports with a decline of 36%, while Jasper County reports an additional 15% over 2012's numbers.
"We are very pleased with these numbers" said Roger Ross, an investigator with the task force.
"Five percent may not sound like a lot, but when you consider where these numbers were in 1993 when the task force opened its doors, it's huge," said Ross.
In 1992, Jefferson County alone accounted for 2,762 auto thefts compared to 539 reported in 2013. This represents an 81% decrease.
Ross said the decreasing number represents the continued hard work of law enforcement officers and the increased diligence of citizens.
MOST STOLEN VEHICLES IN 2013
1) Chevrolet full-size truck
2) Ford full-size truck
3) Honda Accord
4) General Motors full-size truck
5) Dodge full-size truck
6) Toyota Camry
7) Chevrolet Impala
8) Chevrolet Suburban
9) Ford Expedition
10) Ford Explorer
The task force is made up of officers from the Beaumont Police Department, Port Arthur Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Harden County Sheriff's Office.
The three steps offered by the task force as the best deterrents to auto theft are:
1) Lock your car
2) Take your keys
3) Hide your belongings prior to arriving at your destination.