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Posted on: August 4, 2021

Vehicle Theft Prevention: Do not leave a vehicle unattended without stopping the engine

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During this summer weather, you might be tempted to leave your car running so it can cool down while you get ready for work. Leaving your vehicle running unattended can make your car an easy target for thieves.

The Clear Lake Shores Police Department wants to remind our residents and visitors that it is against the law for an operator to leave a vehicle unattended without stopping the engine.

Texas Transportation Code - TRANSP § 545.404. Unattended Motor Vehicle:

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an operator may not leave a vehicle unattended without:

(1) stopping the engine;

(2) locking the ignition;

(3) removing the key from the ignition;

(4) setting the parking brake effectively;  and

(5) if standing on a grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.

(b) The requirements of Subsections (a)(1), (2), and (3) do not apply to an operator who starts the engine of a vehicle by using a remote starter or other similar device that:

(1) remotely starts the vehicle's engine without placing the key in the ignition;  and

(2) requires the key to be placed in the ignition or physically present in the vehicle before the vehicle can be operated.

It is important to remember that some insurance providers will not cover a stolen car if you are negligent and leave the keys inside your vehicle.

The Clear Lake Shores Police Department takes proactive measures to fight auto theft crimes in our community. Additionally, CLSPD wants to ensure that our residents and visitors know some auto theft prevention techniques to avoid becoming a victim.

  • Take your vehicle's key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
  • Park in well-lit areas if possible.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle.

To learn more about vehicle theft prevention tips, please visit

Together, we can decrease the number of opportunities that a criminal has to get to your car.

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