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(Credit: Brandon De Hoyos/

(HOUSTON) — Well more than a thousand vehicles are stolen each month in Houston, so there’s some risk that any resident of the Bayou City could find that their pickup, car or SUV has disappeared.

So, how do you protect your ride?

In real estate, they say it’s location, location, location. And, as it turns out, it seems that’s true for car thieves.

“It can be shopping centers, it can be apartment complexes, it can be somebody’s driveway,” HPD Auto Theft Officer James Woods said.

SEE ALSO: How to Keep Your Vehicle From Being Stolen, Part 1

He says those are prime hunting grounds for thieves — places where suspicious activities might blend into a crowd, or the darkness.

But sometimes all a thief needs is a lot of cars and trucks to choose from.

“An apartment complex to me means one stop shopping. I can find whatever I need in one location,” said reformed car thief Steve Fuller, who says he shops during the day and steals the cars he’s spotted at night.

SEE ALSO: 6 Ways to Keep Thieves from Stealing Your Vehicle

Woods says a really fast thief doesn’t need seclusion.

“We actually had a video — a Houston police officer’s own personal pickup truck, stolen from in front of a store,” Woods said. “The video showed the guy walking over to the pickup truck, getting into the vehicle and driving off within 30 seconds.”

As for the nighttime stealth thieves working your neighborhood, Woods is emphatic.

“Have a garage sale, get rid of the stuff you’re storing there and then put the vehicle in the garage,” he said.

SEE MORE: NEWS 92 FM and Crime Stoppers of Houston’s CRIME BUSTERS Page

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How to Keep Your Vehicle From Being Stolen, Part 2  was originally published on

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