Temple Police say vehicle thefts and burglaries have steadily been on the rise since 2016, mainly due to people leaving their vehicles unlocked.

The police department issued an advisory Wednesday encouraging everyone to be more vigilant about securing their vehicles, removing valuables and not leaving extra keys in their vehicles.

Police also increased patrols in areas where the thefts have most commonly occurred.

They gave the following five tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

1. Hide your valuables from plain sight to avoid attracting thieves.

2. Lock your vehicle and take your keys.

3. Never hide a second set of keys in or on your vehicle.

4. Park in well-lighted areas or attended lots.

5. Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will only be away for a minute.

It is a crime in Texas to leave a key in an unattended vehicle without:

(1) Stopping the engine;

(2) Locking the ignition;

(3) Removing the key from the ignition;

(4) Setting the parking brake effectively; and

The law does not apply to people who start their cars with a remote starter.

Anyone with information about a crime in Temple or who is a victim of a crime can call Temple Police at 254-298-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-729-TIPS.