Seems like every day I'm seeing a post in my neighborhood Facebook group about thieves breaking into cars. Apparently it's not just break-ins that are on the uptick, but vehicle theft too.

GRPD posted a warning to Facebook that they've seen a nearly 25% increase in stolen motor vehicles compared to last year, and that number is consistent throughout West Michigan.

They note that recently there have been a string of robberies at cell phone stores, gun shops, and party stores in which the suspects have used stolen cars. So vehicles are being stolen for the sole purpose of committing these crimes.

"In nearly all instances, thieves were able to steal the cars because the cars were left unlocked with keys or key fobs inside. In other incidents, automotive businesses were entered where keys were unsecured and easily accessible to the criminally-minded subjects."

The Combined Auto Theft Team, a special task force that is funded by the automobile Prevention Authority, encourages residents to lock their vehicles and secure vehicle keys.

They ask anyone with information on these incidents to contact local Law Enforcement or Silent Observer and to report any suspicious people to Law Enforcement.

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