Auto Thefts Spike in Sparta Area

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-11 18:45:16-04

SPARTA, Mich. — When Jessica Dekubber discovered her truck was stolen, she took to Facebook to let others know what had happened.

That’s when she found out she wasn’t the only person targeted in the Sparta area. “I had a whole bunch of people come and tell me that their cars were stolen… and a lot of them are getting trashed,” Dekubber explained.

She said her truck was stolen sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Dekubber said she normally leaves her keys in the ignition. That made it an easy steal.

“[I] noticed it’s not in our driveway so then we called the cops,” she recalled. She said the sheriff’s deputy arrived around 3 a.m. and told her the thefts had spiked in the last couple weeks.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department tells FOX 17 that roughly a half dozen vehicles have been stolen in the area in the last two weeks. The thieves have been taking them for joyrides. In most cases, like Dekubber’s, nothing has been stolen.

In fact, they’re leaving behind evidence.  When she located her vehicle near Camp Lake, she found a lighter in her truck and a pair of gloves on the ground next it.

Dekubber said there seems to be a common theme with each theft. “I’ve learned that [the victims] had the keys in the car,” she said.

If there’s one takeaway, it’s pretty straightforward. “Take your keys out of your car,” Dekubber chuckled.

“They’re watching the houses though,” she said. “They’re knowing when you’re not there,” she added as precaution.

If you have any information regarding the auto thefts, call the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at 616-632-6125.