The Flathead County Sheriff's Office is increasing patrols in some areas in an effort to put a dent into the recent rapid rise of vehicle thefts .
Law enforcement reports that over 40 vehicles have been stolen in the Flathead Valley since August.
Because of this dramatic increase in car theft, Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino says he’s increased patrols in targeted areas and tells MTN that these are usually crimes of opportunity.
"A lot of what we’re seeing are unlocked vehicles. Keys are in the vehicles, vehicles are unlocked, and people are just stealing what they can easily gain access to," explained Sheriff Heino.
Sheriff Heino added that the thefts are often committed by the same repeat offenders. He reminds people to lock their vehicles and store any valuable items in a secure location.