Maps: Channel 2 Investigates reveals high-risk car burglary areas in Houston

By Mario Diaz - Reporter, Cathy Tatom - Investigative Producer

HOUSTON - It happens in a flash.

A crook flips open your unlocked vehicle door or smashes in a window to get inside. The objective is to steal your stuff inside the vehicle.

What do they want?

Your laptop, phone and other electronics or expensive tools in your work truck. They’re also looking for backpacks, billfolds and purses.

Vehicle burglars are even after your work badge and mail to commit identity theft.

They’ll even steal the loose change in your console.

A thief snatched $1,500 worth of tools from Filipe Reyes’ work van earlier this month. Reyes says it was hard watching surveillance video of how calmly the crook did it.

“It’s not fun to see someone taking your tools, this we use for work,” Reyes said.

Houston police told Channel 2 Investigates the crimes are preventable.

To protect your vehicle and your belongings:

  • Always lock your vehicle doors when you get out.
  • Never leave belongings in your vehicle.
  • Never put valuables like laptops in your trunk in a parking lot where a thief could be watching.

Burglary of a motor vehicle is the No. 1 crime in Houston. Cops refer to it as “BMV.” In 2018, more than 30,000 BMV reports were filed with Houston police. This crime doesn’t just happen in Houston. Channel 2 Investigates collected reports from 18 large and small law enforcement agencies across our viewing area to show you where BMVs happen.

For communities with only a few dozen to a few hundred BMV reports, we created interactive maps. You can zoom in to check out the street where you live, where you work and where you like to shop and go out to eat.

These maps show BMVs happen in residential driveways as well as the parking lots of all types of businesses, stores and eateries. Parking lots along busy roads and highways are frequent hot spots for BMVs. We occasionally found addresses that would not map because the law enforcement agency only provided block numbers that the mapping program didn’t recognize. Each map notes whether the agency provided exact addresses, cross streets or blocks where BMVs were reported.

Click on the links below to see BMV locations:

Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office 2018 BMV locations

Harris County Sheriff's Office 2018 BMV locations

Montgomery County 2018 BMVs

HPD Jan. to May 2018 BMV locations

HPD June to Dec. 2018 BMV locations

[Scroll down to see maps for more communities across our area]

When it comes to big law enforcement agencies like the Houston Police Department and the Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend County sheriff’s offices, there were too many addresses to map in a user-friendly way. To see where BMVs were reported, click on the link with the agency’s name, then scroll through the street names to find the one you want. HPD used two different records systems in 2018, so its addresses are split into two lists. The first runs from January through May and the second includes June through December.

2018 Car Burglary Maps embed codes (in alphabetical order):

Baytown

Bellaire

Friendswood

Galveston

Jersey Village

Katy

League City

Missouri City

Pasadena

Pearland

Rosenberg

Tomball

Webster

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