Vehicle thefts on the rise in Summit County |

Vehicle thefts on the rise in Summit County

Authorities urge locking cars as break-ins accelerate again

Cash, checkbooks, credit cards and electronics have been reported stolen from vehicles around Summit County in the last week in a rash of vehicle thefts from unlocked cars, authorities said.

A number of the break-ins occurred in “clusters,” when multiple thefts occurred in the same area around the same time, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. In one instance, a car was stolen and left a block away after the thief or thieves found the key in another vehicle parked in the same driveway.

“The nature of these thefts really illustrates the importance of securing your cars and your valuables,” Sheriff John Minor said. “If you leave your car unlocked, it’s almost an open invitation. It’s as easy as walking down the street or through the parking lot and testing door handles.”

Items ranging from money to laptops, iPods and GPS systems have been stolen. The sheriff’s office has increased overnight patrols in neighborhoods.

Authorities encouraged the public to avoid leaving anything of value in their cars, even in places where it seems to be hidden. If it’s absolutely necessary to leave valuables in a vehicle, they should be locked in the truck, law enforcement officials said.

Vehicle thefts and break-ins traditionally accelerate in the spring and summer months when the weather warms up.

Authorities asked that residents who see unfamiliar vehicles or people roaming around neighborhoods in the evenings or at night contact Summit County Dispatch at (970) 668-8600. Anyone with information regarding the recent string of car thefts is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (970) 453-2232.

— Daily News staff report

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