Cold weather thieves are coming out as car theft is on the rise in Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Police Department is reporting that car theft is up 37% from last year. As the temperatures are dropping, the police state that residents are starting their cars to warm them up and leaving them. That's when wrong do-ers seize their moment. These are cold weather thieves.

Sergeant James Wojczynski of the Combined Auto Theft Team told WZZM TV,

“We also see owners leave their parked vehicles unlocked with keys and fobs left inside. This makes it far too easy.”

Throughout Kentwood, Grand Rapids and Wyoming over 1,200 car have been stolen. Police report these cars are being taken for joy-rides and to execute other crimes like robbery. The Grand Rapids Police Department has given these tips to secure your vehicle:

  • Never leave your car running unattended, for any amount of time.
  • Use a remote starter if available, making sure the doors are locked and the keyless fob is far enough away so that the vehicle cannot be moved.
  • Lock your doors, every time.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Invest in anti-theft technology, such as an alarm system or a steering wheel club.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle, such as computers, purses and firearms.
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