How To Keep Vehicles Safe From Car Thieves
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- The Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force is reminding the public to be cautious of items left inside vehicles.
The task force is made up of officers from the Grand Junction Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Fruita Police Department, and the Mesa County District Attorney's Office.
Officials are putting a halt to auto theft in the county and are warning residents how to steer clear of becoming a target for car theft, especially during the holiday season.
Whether it's window shopping, or online shopping, this is the season for making major purchases. However, for some, window shopping means looking through a car window, and stealing wanted items.
"We get five or six calls a day to criminal trespasses to vehicles. Majority of those are in driveways or out near somebody's house on the street," said Stan Ancell, sergeant with the Grand Junction Police Department.
Officials say, this is the time of year most vehicles get stolen or broken into.
People can eliminate a lot of the problems in their identity theft and things like that, if they just leave their cars locked," said Ancell.
Officials say more than 80 percent of cars that get broken into are unlocked.
"Kids will go down [the street] or whoever the suspects are, and just go down and try door handles until one is open. If it's locked, they move on," said Ancell.
Some tips to help prevent cars from becoming targets to thefts include: making sure the car is always locked, never leave a car while it's running, always hide presents, ipods, purses, and GPS systems and always try and park in a well-lit area.
"If you leave you're car running, you're just inviting people to come and take your car," said Ancell.
Officials say it's now puffing season, which is when a vehicle is left running unattended; as evidence by the exhaust vapors, and is visible in the cold weather.
They say puffing is not only an easy target for thieves, but it's also illegal, and residents will be cited.