Weslaco Police Conduct Parking Lot Inspections to Raise Theft Awareness
WESLACO – A local police department is taking extra steps to help keep shoppers safe this holiday season.
They are going car to car to check every vehicle in shopping locations.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned many families are making themselves the perfect target for thieves by leaving their doors unlocked.
Officer Carlos Hinojosa is in his eighteenth year working with Weslaco Police Department. He takes pride in serving the community he grew up in. Two years ago, he joined the community outreach division.
He discussed one of the major tasks of the division is focused to take on.
“Theft reduction … what we do is we basically go car to car and we check to make sure any doors are unlocked or any valuable items are left inside vehicles,” Hinojosa said.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS patrolled several parking lots throughout the day with Hinojosa and other officers, and we found several vehicles unlocked.
One of which had cash, a purse and shopping bags filled with new shoes inside. Hinojosa says those unlocked vehicles receive a note from the police department.
“We have this little card that we check off and we indicate on there, hey your vehicle was left unlocked and these valuable items were left inside your vehicle. Please try to take some preventative measures so you don’t become a victim of theft,” Hinojosa explained.
Jesus Espinosa is one of the Weslaco shoppers who left his car door unlocked. We asked him why.
“Because I can’t lock it, look my things broke and my fat finger don’t fit in there,” Espinosa said.
Espinosa said this isn’t the first time he’s received a note from Weslaco Police Department.
“You know what? I got one last year at the mall too, for the something. You know what? I’m going to do it now. I’m going to lock it now. I’m going to make sure it’s locked next time,” Espinosa told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
Espinosa said he will be more aware from here on out. He assures us he won’t become a victim this holiday season.
Another tip from Hinojosa suggested. He said never leave boxes of large or expensive gifts near or in the dumpster.
He explained doing so just alerts thieves that you have something valuable in your home. He recommends to instead shred those boxes and dispose of them in trash bags.