Car theft highest its been in more than a decade, Rapid City police say winter is when they see it most

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 7:18 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Nationwide, 2020 saw the most vehicle thefts we’ve seen in more than a decade.

The upward trend has led AAA to ask people to make New Years resolutions involving taking precautions to keep themselves, and their cars safe and sound.

The Rapid City Police Department says the city is seeing much of the same, especially during the winter.

During the winter time, police say starting your car ahead of time for a warm commute invites a crime of opportunity if your car isn’t locked up.

Oftentimes, they say stolen vehicles are found in random locations, and are being used by people for a more convenient way to get to where they’re trying to go.

Brendyn Medina, Communications Officer for the Rapid City Police Department, says events like this occur in driveways, parking lots or convenience stores.

”Grab a snack or coffee on their way to work, leave the vehicle running, come back out and poof it’s gone. Like I said, this is a crime of opportunity, where we don’t want to make that opportunity for criminals. It all starts with making sure that you are the only one who has access to that vehicle once you leave it unattended.”

Medina says keeping your vehicle safe is as easy not leaving your car running, or locking your car when you do, and taking your keys with you instead of hiding them in the car.

He says they rarely see forced entry involved in stolen vehicle cases.

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