The Corpus Christi Police Department said their holiday initiative to bring an end to automotive crimes has worked in at least four areas of the city.

"In reviewing all our reports, I think our message is getting across. It's still early," CCPD Lt. James Lerma said.

The CCPD's new Skywatch is currently keeping an eye on the parking lot at La Palmera Mall. Areas such as Moore Plaza and the shopping centers off Saratoga and Greenwood have an increased number of patrol officers. This has been part of the holiday initiative since Black Friday, and police said they've had no reports of break-ins since then.

"We have officers from each district patrolling these site areas. We have them in marked units and unmarked units," Lerma said. "The Auto Theft Task Force is out there undercover, and undercover vehicles, so we're patrolling and I think they see whats going on and see the vehicles out there, and we're looking for them."

Police said since auto thieves are aware of the change, they are moving into less patrolled areas in the meantime.

"The displacement, we took that into consideration. We haven't seen any spikes yet in any particular area of town. Neighborhoods are pretty on average right now, but as the season goes on we are definitely going to monitor those," Lerma said. "The thefts, burglaries, have not ceased as we'd like them too."

Police now want to remind residents of apartment complexes, homeowners, and business owners to take a few simple precautions.

"First thing's first -- if you can just do one thing -- if you lock your car you greatly reduce your chances of all the burglaries or auto theft. Secondly, do not leave any valuables in your car in plain sight," Lerma said. "Never leave keys or a spare set in your vehicle. If you have a vehicle that uses a fob and a push button to start, take extra precautions."

Lerma added that criminals are smart and well prepared.

"You know, once they're in your car if you left it unlocked, because of technology these days, they'll know if there's a key fob within proximity of it. All they have to do is hit the push to start," Lerma said.

Lerma said following these simple rules could save police and individuals a lot of time.

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