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Auto Burglary & Theft Prevention Authority

Auto Burglary & Theft Prevention Authority

The Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA) has fostered a statewide cooperative network of law enforcement groups, prosecutors, insurance industry representatives, local tax assessor-collectors, and concerned citizens to combat vehicle theft and burglary through enforcement, prevention, public information, and education initiatives. In addition to providing guidance and oversight, ABTPA awards financial grants to agencies, organizations, and concerned parties in an effort to raise public awareness of vehicle theft and burglary and implement education and prevention initiatives.


Established by the 72nd Texas Legislature in 1991, the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) became the first statewide effort to reduce auto theft. The 80th Legislature amended the ATPA mission in House Bill 1887 to also emphasize reducing vehicle burglaries. The resulting agency, the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA), is charged with assessing automobile burglary, theft, and economic theft (burglary or theft committed for financial gain) in Texas, analyzing the methods and providing financial support to combat the problems. In 2009, the ABTPA became part of the newly established Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.


Insurance Fraud Committee

The Insurance Fraud Committee comprises representatives from insurance companies, Office of the Attorney General, Texas Department of Insurance, and law-enforcement agencies that address the growing problem of insurance fraud. The Committee identifies goals that address issues relating to vehicle theft “give-ups or walkaways,” arson, VIN switches, and insurance fraud.

Grantee Advisory Committee

The Grantee Advisory Committee considers matters of concern to both grantees and the ABTPA, leveraging the experience, knowledge, and legal insight of law enforcement professionals to address the problem of auto theft.

Border Solutions Committee

The Border Solutions Committee, a bi-national committee established by the ABTPA in 1992, fosters communication with Mexico to reduce stolen vehicles on both sides of the border.

Public Awareness

  • In 2012, the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority launched the “Think Like A Thief” public awareness campaign to teach drivers to think like a thief in order to protect their belongings and vehicles from being stolen. Thinking like a thief would raise the public's awareness about auto crime and remind people to protect their vehicle.
  • The long-running Watch Your Car campaign has not only increased Texans’ awareness of vehicle burglary and theft, but provided grantees with a coordinated theme, operational plan, and materials for theft-reduction and education.
  • As part of the Watch Your Car initiative, the “You Hold the Key” campaign increased understanding among Texans that leaving doors unlocked and keys in the ignition results in roughly 50,000 stolen vehicles in Texas every year. Stolen vehicles, the campaign reminds drivers, is a “gateway” to other crimes.
  • In 2009, the ABTPA launched “You Are Being Shadowed,” a public awareness campaign that stresses wherever Texans go, car thieves are also there burglarizing and stealing vehicles. The initiative has won multiple awards including a 2010 Bronze Telly and a 2010 PACE Competition Region II Award.

Board of Directors

The Governor of Texas appoints six individuals to serve staggered six-year terms on the board of directors.

Board members include:

  • Two law enforcement representatives
  • Two consumer representatives
  • Two insurance representatives
  • The executive director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, who serves ex-officio.


ABTPA Board of Directors
carlos garciaChief Carlos Garcia
Board Chair
Law Enforcement Representative

linda kinneyLinda Kinney
Dripping Springs
Board Member
Consumer Representative

steven c mccrawSteven C. McCraw
c/o Major Wynn Reynolds ex-officio
Board Member
Texas Dept. of Public Safety

ken rossKen Ross
Board Member
Insurance Representative

ashley hunterAshley Hunter
Board Member
Insurance Representative

mark wilsonChief Deputy Mark Wilson
Board Member
Law Enforcement

jerry wrightJerry Wright
El Paso
Board Member
Consumer Representative

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