GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department say there has been an increase of recent break-ins at local cell phone stores, party stores, and gun shops, nearly all of which have been committed using stolen cars. These cars are being stolen with the express intent to be used in these robberies.
Thieves are breaking into cars with keys and key fobs left in the ignition, as well as dealerships where keys are often left unattended.
“we’re certainly not blaming victims, but there are simple things we can do to try and cut down on those and make sure those things don’t happen. not leaving keys in the car, not leaving cars unlocked,” said Sgt. Dan Adams. “With new technology, some people are tempted to leave my key fob in the car and maybe just lock the door, or we have the cars with just the auto start with the button and so it’s convenient for us, but it’s going to be very inconvenient if somebody steals your car or steals your property.”
The Combined Auto Theft team has seen a 25% increase in stolen motor vehicles this year in West Michigan. They urge car-owners to lock their cars and secure their car keys.
Authorities urge the public to offer any and all information on stolen vehicles.
“We just really hope that people just, again, I know it’s inconvenient but just take that extra second because it’s going to hopefully save you some time and effort, but it can make a big impact on somebody else too,” said Adams.