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Springfield Sees Significant Jump in Vehicle Thefts

Michele Skalicky

The latest Public Safety Report from the Springfield Police Department shows a significant increase in vehicle thefts.  That type of crime rose 31 percent from July through September compared to the same period last year.  Vehicles in that category include automobiles, scooters, ATVs, motorcycles and even golf carts.

Springfield Police spokesperson Lisa Cox said they’re seeing the same types of problems surrounding vehicle thefts as they have in the past.

"More than half of these reports that are coming in are from victims that admit to leaving the car open, leaving it running and unattended or leaving keys in plain sight, a purse in plain sight, something like that," she said.

According to Cox, people sometimes are too trusting and give criminals an easy opportunity to get away with vehicles.

She said many times a person who steals a vehicle is involved in another crime.

"Whether that be drug related or potentially using that car to commit maybe a burglary or robbery or something like that, but, you know, trying not to be identified," she said.

According to Cox, the SPD has a vehicle theft unit now, so the majority of stolen vehicles are being recovered, although in various conditions.

Some tips to keep your vehicle safe include not keeping keys in your car, leaving valuables hidden and never leaving a vehicle unattended.  Cox expects another jump in vehicle thefts as people continue to leave their cars unattended and running to warm up during the cold winter months.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.