LUBBOCK, Texas — With temperatures falling, Lubbock Police Department reminded drivers on Wednesday that seasonal car thefts are often preventable.

“For your belongings– if you want to keep them– I would definitely say take the extra time, extra steps. Take your keys out and do not leave them in the vehicles,” said Crime Prevention Coordinator with the South Plains Auto Theft Task Force Jennifer Anderson.

Local law enforcement sees an average of 100 vehicle thefts a month, but that number will likely rise as people leave their cars running unattended.

“For the month of November, a small percentage of cars [that] were taken were running unattended. It does happen and one time is too many. It’s an avoidable thing,” said Lt. Brady Cross with the Lubbock Police Department.

The best ways to prevent car theft when trying to defrost or warm up your vehicle, Anderson explained, is to be present and wake up earlier.

“Remove the keys or sit in the vehicle while it’s defrosting or warming up,” she recommended.

If it happens to you, “You can call dispatch, [the] non-emergency number, or you can call 911 if it’s just occurred, and you observed it happen and it is an emergency type situation. So, we can take those reports over the phone, or an officer can come to you,” Lt. Cross shared.