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Motor Vehicle Theft and Theft from Vehicle Prevention

Motor Vehicle Theft and Theft from Vehicle Prevention

September 24, 2020

The Cedar Rapids Police Department has seen an approximately 50 percent increase in the number of motor vehicle thefts this year compared to the average number of motor vehicle thefts over the past five years.  Through September 22, 2020, there have been 403 motor vehicle thefts compared to an average of 270 motor vehicle thefts for similar time periods over the past five years (January 1-September 22). 

In addition to an increase in motor vehicle thefts, there has been a 6.5 percent increase in thefts from vehicle incidents compared to the five-year average.  Through September 22, 2020, there have been 537 thefts from vehicle incidents reported compared to the five-year average of 505 for similar time periods (January 1-September 22).  

Both motor vehicle thefts and thefts from vehicle are often crimes of opportunity.  Based on crime reports, up to 60 percent of the motor vehicles stolen in Cedar Rapids were left unattended with the keys inside or the vehicle was left running.  The majority of thefts from vehicle involve vehicles that are left unlocked. 

The Police Department offers the following prevention tips to help avoid these property crimes:

  1. Always lock your vehicle (even while driving).
  2. When parked, leave all windows – including the sunroof – closed.  Most burglars will not break into a car if they cannot see what they are getting.  Remove cellular phones, cameras, laptop computers, wallets and purses.  Lock your valuables in the trunk or glove compartment before you reach your destination or take them inside with you when arriving at your destination.  In 2019, there were 24 incidents in which a gun was stolen from a vehicle with a total of 29 guns stolen.  Through September 22, 2020, there have been 26 incidents this year in which a gun was stolen from a vehicle with a total of 29 guns stolen.
  3. Park in well-lit areas.  Most vehicles that have been reported stolen were taken from parking lots, street parking, or driveways. 
  4. Never leave your vehicle unattended if it is running.  Several vehicles stolen were vehicles that were left running and unlocked in front of a business, such as a convenience store.
  5. Consider adding a vehicle alarm system but remember to be neighborly and respond to the alarm promptly should it be set off.
  6. Be alert of your surroundings and people near your vehicle. Report suspicious activity to the Police Department.  Most thefts do not involve breaking vehicle windows.  Most thieves will move on to another target rather than attempt to break a window to gain access to a locked vehicle. 

Please visit the Cedar Rapids Police Department Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cedarrapidspolicedepartment for updated information about crime prevention strategies, as well as news and information about the Police Department.

 

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