Vehicles Targeted for Burglary and Theft
August 10, 2021
Carla Hulsey Pate
Criminals continue to target vehicles in the Texas Medical Center and surrounding areas for burglary, motor vehicle theft and catalytic converter theft.
These thefts are occurring without a clear pattern and are taking place, not only during evening and weekend hours but also during daytime hours, Monday to Friday. Criminals continue to target vehicles in parking garages and parking lots in the Texas Medical Center area.
BMVs and catalytic converter theft is an ongoing problem in the city of Houston and the nation. As documented by UT Police, criminals have targeted diverse geographical areas including near UT Housing, 1885 El Paseo Street, the UTHealth Professional Building Garage, 6414 Fannin Street, and Texas Medical Center Parking Garage 10, 6700 MD Anderson Boulevard.
UT Police has increased presence in the targeted areas, including building garages and parking lots owned by UTHealth and MD Anderson. Both police and public safety officers are conducting security patrols within garages on an increased frequency, with public safety officers making use of newly acquired EV fleet vehicles.
“While any crime on campus is impactful and unwanted, our garages are much safer than our surrounding area,” said UT Police Captain Michael Redmond. “Even with all of our crime prevention and risk mitigation efforts and our exceptional clearance rates, we cannot guarantee a ‘Zero Crime’ environment.”
UT Police depend heavily on the community to take part in their own protection and to ‘See Something, Say Something.’
“What is really important is that all our personnel are familiar with the methods that criminals are using to gain access to our parking garages,” said Redmond. “When you see a car piggybacking another vehicle, leaving or entering a garage, immediately call this out and report it to any of our public safety officers or call us.”
To discourage criminals, UT Police recommends all vehicle owners keep their vehicles locked; hide, secure and/or take valuables with you; and take special precautions to prevent the theft if it is one of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles’ Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles. Full-sized Chevy and GMC pickup trucks and SUVs have been the most frequently targeted vehicles on campus.
Additionally, Capt. Redmond reminds readers to remain vigilant while travelling on campus.
“Stay alert to your surroundings as you are out and about on campus,” said Redmond. “If you see something suspicious, like a vehicle with paper tags occupied by multiple individuals circling in the garages with no apparent intent to park, or individuals under the hood of a Chevy/GMC pickup with a second vehicle parked behind it, call our 24/7 UT Police line immediately at 713-792-2890, so we may respond and investigate.”
Visit the UT Police General Campus Safety webpage for auto burglary and theft prevention and catalytic converter theft prevention resources, as well as, parking garage and parking lot safety tips.
Maintaining a secure work and education environment is in the hands of each one of us. If you see any suspicious persons loitering around any campus building, contact UT Police immediately at (713) 792-2890.