The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has taken a proactive stance on fighting this growing crime trend. We have assigned a detective that is assigned to the Special Investigations Unit to investigate these crimes. We have also assigned a detective to the East Metro Auto Theft Task Force. The trends in auto theft within Douglas County is out of county suspects drive into Douglas County in a stolen vehicle and then drive through neighborhoods in an attempt to identify another car to steal. They abandon the stolen car they drive to Douglas County and trade up to a nicer vehicle. Once the cars are stolen, they are often used in other crime related activities or taken to a “Chop-Shop” where the car is stripped of all, or certain parts that are needed by the auto thieves.
<LINK TO AUTO THEFT PREVENTION CO12>
Other proactive techniques used by the Sheriff’s Office to deter such crimes as auto theft, are crime prevention and neighborhood watch programs. By educating the citizens of Douglas County on the proper way to avoid becoming a victim, we hope to decrease the number of opportunities that a criminal has to get to your car.
The DCSO takes proactive measures to fight this growing crime. We have an auto theft prevention unit that investigates auto theft and we are part of the East Metro Auto Theft Task Force. (link to ID-1C1 auto theft unit) The DCSO also offers crime prevention and neighborhood watch programs. (link to CO1 crime prevention and the other to CO6-neighborhood watch.)
The kinds of cars most often stolen in our county are Hondas, Acuras and SUVs. The majority of auto thefts happen in the densely populated area of the north-central portion of the county.
A large percentage of vehicles stolen had the keys left in them and are crimes of opportunity. The auto thieves enter open garages at night and then roll the cars out of the garage.
One auto theft trend involves the thieves driving into Douglas County in a stolen vehicle and casing neighborhoods looking for another car to steal. One they find one, they abandon the stolen car and drive off in the nicer vehicle. Once the cars are stolen, they’re used to commit other crimes or taken to a ‘chop-shop’ where they’re stripped for auto parts.
Make it tough for the auto thieves:
- Don’t leave your keys in your car, even if it’s parked in your own garage.
- Park your car in a garage and keep the garage door closed day and night.
- Always lock the doors and roll up the windows, especially when parked in a public place such as a mall or a movie theater.
- Don’t leave your car unattended while it’s running.
- Don’t leave valuables lying around where thieves can see them through a window.
- At night, try to leave your car parked under lights or near the main entrance of any business.
- Never assume that your car is safe, even if you live in a “nice” or low crime community. Criminals can and do come from all walks of life.
- Never leave a child alone in a vehicle.