‘HEAT’ being put on auto theft by new program

With hopes of helping reduce auto theft in McCulloch County, Jessica Harper, auto theft prevention coordinator for the Concho Valley Council of Governments, made a formal presentation to the McCulloch County Commissioners Monday morning. The presentation, was to inform the commissioners of ways in which the county could help prevent automobile theft by participating in the Help End Auto Theft (HEAT) program. HEAT is a statewide vehicle registration program managed by the Texas Department of Public Safety which helps law enforcement officials identify stolen vehicles. Vehicle owners can obtain a decal for the back window that authorizes law enforcement officers to stop the automobile between 1-5 a.m. anywhere in the state of Texas to verify ownership. One of two additional decals can be added to the front window to help prevent the car form being driven illegally into Mexico. A yellow decal authorizes officials to stop the car between the hours of 1-5 a.m. as it crosses the border. A white decal authorizes officers to stop the vehicle any time it crosses the border into Mexico. According to brochures handed out by Ms. Harper, Texas law enforcement agencies arrested 9,320 persons for motor vehicle theft in 1999. The 15-to-19-year-old group represented the largest number of arrests. The presentation was to inform the commissioners of the type of service the program can provide; however, no action was taken on the item. In a separate item, with the absence of grant writer Kay Howard, the Commissioners tabled the community development block grant on the agenda as part of the Rochelle Water District’s project application. In a previous meeting, the Commissioners authorized McCulloch County Judge Randy Young to sign a letter of intent with A&J Howco Services, Inc. of Lubbock to enter into the grant project on behalf of the Rochelle Water District. The application submitted by the Rochelle Water District was approved in 2000. Funding was awarded in two-year blocks, and the Rochelle Water District is now scheduled to receive their portion of the grant money. Because this is a federal grant, the Rochelle Water District can only apply for funding through the county. The request for grant funding is to help purchase additional pipeline in Rochelle. In other business, the Commissioners approved a bond for Treva Colen, chief deputy for the tax assessor collector. In an attempt to stay in compliance with the Texas Jail Commission, the Commissioners authorized $3,000 for the purpose of repairing the intercom at the McCulloch County Jail. The project will be funded through the permanent improvement fund.

Leave a Comment