HELENA – The Helena Police Department is warning residents to keep their vehicles locked and their valuables out of sight as vehicle break-ins and thefts continue to rise in the area.
Assistant Police Chief Steve Hagen said the trend started earlier this year and has continued to remain higher than usual.
He said thieves are targeting vehicles where valuables are visible and even locked doors and the daylight do not prevent them from taking what they see.
“Whenever someone, whoever’s stealing stuff out of cars, sees the availability or the opportunity to steal those items they’re doing it,” said Hagen. “Doesn’t matter if it’s daytime or nighttime, whether it’s a private lot or a large public parking lot, it’s the same thing. None of them seem to deter anyone from doing it.”
Here’s a look at some recent figures on vehicle break-ins and thefts:
For the six months from June through November of 2017, there were 159 thefts from motor vehicle cases and 79 stolen vehicles.
For that same period this year, those numbers doubled, to 298 thefts from motor vehicles and 141 stolen vehicles.
Assistant Chief Hagen said to always lock your vehicle and keep valuables like wallets, purses, and gifts in the truck or hidden the best you can.
He added there have been many vehicles stolen recently while they’re being warmed on cold days, so use a spare key or an auto-start to keep it locked if you plan to warm it up.
-Reported by Melissa Jensen/MTN News