Car Thefts Back On The Rise During Winter Season

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- One Omaha neighborhood is now a car theft hotspot. In the last month, ten cars have been stolen from the Dundee and Midtown area. Police said they aren't really surprised because as the holiday season gets closer, the number of car thefts goes up.

"Every year about this time, it starts getting cold out, we do see an increase in the number of auto thefts throughout the city," said public information officer Michael Pecha of the Omaha Police Department.

Neighborhoods in Dundee and Midtown were the latest targets. The specific neighborhoods are between Dodge Street to NE-64 and 52nd Street to 38th Street. From October 4-10 this year, there were only two stolen cars. This month during those same dates there were eight.

Police said one reason why neighborhoods like Dundee or Midtown are targets to car-thefts is because most people have to park on the street.

"There's more cars out there, there's more opportunities for people to take those cars rather than if they were in a secured garage," said Pecha.

The leaves are falling and temperatures are dropping. This is when police said car thefts start to peak.

"This time of year with the cold weather we just have more people starting their cars, leaving them unlocked and running in order to warm them up," said Pecha.

Police said you should never start your car and leave it running unattended. That includes, short stops at home, at the gas station, the convenience store. Police say it's common for thieves to steal your car during those short moments.

"They're looking for the easy opportunity. And when you leave a car running and unlocked, that's, that's the car that's going to stick out," said Pecha.

With the holidays coming up, police also suggest never leaving any personal belongings or gift bags in plain sight. What you should do is lock them in the trunk so they can't be seen.

"The fewer opportunities you provide for a potential suspect, the less chance there is that you're going to become a victim," said Pecha.

Drivers should also write down the VIN number to their cars. Police said having that number and other important documentation could help track down your car if it were stolen. Police also suggested installing an automatic car starter to prevent car theft.

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