Summit County: Thefts from unlocked vehicles on the rise | SummitDaily.com

Summit County: Thefts from unlocked vehicles on the rise

Daily News staff report

Thefts and break-ins on unlocked vehicles are on the rise in Summit County, and twice the culprits have gotten away with thousands of dollars in cash.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office is urging people to lock their cars whenever the vehicle is left unattended and to avoid leaving valuables unsecured.

“Leaving your car unlocked makes it so easy for would-be thieves,” Sheriff John Minor stated. “These are crimes of opportunity, and it’s as easy as walking down the street or through the parking lot and testing door handles.”

A string of vehicle burglaries and break-ins have been reported over last month, particularly in the Summit Cove area. In every case the vehicles were left unlocked. Large amounts of cash – $5,000 in one instance and $9,000 in another – were reported stolen in two of the cases. Cash, checkbooks, wallets and small electronics such as digital cameras and iPods have also been taken, according to a sheriff’s office statement.

The sheriff’s office has increased overnight neighborhood patrols, but authorities called on vehicle owners to share the responsibility by locking their cars.

They reminded locals and visitors not to leave valuables in their cars, even where they believed them to be hidden, and to lock valuable belongings in the trunk when absolutely necessary.

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Residents were asked to report any unfamiliar vehicles and people roaming neighborhoods and parking lots during the late night and early morning hours to Summit County dispatch at (970) 668-8600.

Individuals with information relating to the thefts are asked to contact the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 453-2232.