Thefts from Autos Spike in Fridley, County's Stolen-car Pacesetter
Fridley Police and Anoka County Auto Theft Task Force issued crime alerts.
Theft from vehicles is recently on the rise in Fridley, and Fridley had the most stolen cars last year of any city in Anoka County.
That's according to crime alerts issued by the Fridley Police Department and the Anoka County Auto Theft Task Force.
Thefts from Vehicles
Between March and April, theft from vehicles in Fridley more than doubled, a Fridley Police alert announced Thursday said. In April, a total of 26 police reports were made involving theft from vehicles, compared to March when there were 10 police reports.
The thefts often occurred in the late evening or overnight hours, according to the crime alert.
Some of the thefts involved someone entering a car parked in a driveway or parking lot. In other cases the suspect would enter a vehicle parked in a garage.
“Always keep your vehicle locked whether parked in the driveway, alley, or garage,” the crime alert advises.
Thefts of Vehicles
Fridley has the greatest number of auto thefts in Anoka County, with 70 auto thefts in 2010, according to information released by the Anoka County Auto Theft Task Force, which is headed by the Fridley Police Department.
Coon Rapids has the second highest count, with 58 vehicles stolen in 2010. There were a total of 331 vehicles stolen in Anoka County last year. The only cities in Anoka County with no vehicles stolen in 2010 are Centerville and Linwood.
Of the vehicles stolen, only 30 percent were recovered by police. The average recovery time was 10 days. Most vehicles came back undamaged: 67 percent had no damage.
Ready to Roll
“Most cars that are stolen are unlocked, with the keys in them,” said Commander Paul Sommers of the Anoka County Sheriff’s office.
He attributes the high rate of vehicles stolen in Fridley to the large number of shopping areas and apartment complexes in the city, where people have to park outside.
“Any place where cars are parked outside instead of in a garage, that’s typically where auto thefts occur,” Sommers said.
Vehicle Thefts Drop Overall
Thefts of vehicles in Anoka County overall has decreased in the past four or five years, Sommers said, thanks to work by the Auto Theft Task Force.
In Anoka County, 30 percent of vehicles stolen were parked in a parking lot, and 19 percent were parked on a driveway. Vehicles stolen from the street made nine percent of total auto thefts in the county, and three percent of vehicles stolen were parked in a garage.
The task force gives advice to residents on how to decrease chances of an auto theft: lock your car, take your keys, and park in well-lit areas, close to your destination. If possible, park in a garage and still lock your car.
“By following these recommendations, we can significantly reduce or eliminate the victimization of our community regarding the crime of auto theft,” said the task force crime alert.