Grand theft auto

Recently there have been a few instances of actual or attempted car theft in the University Circle area. Auto-related crime is always an issue in University Circle due to the large numbers of commuters and apartment dwellers in the area, so here are some facts and tips.

The most stolen type of cars in 2015 were Honda Accords and Civics, followed by Ford and Chevrolet pickup trucks and Toyota Camrys. Blue was the most common color of stolen car. (Pink cars tend to be rarer and easy for police officers looking for stolen cars to find.) Widespread distribution of these models and value of parts explains some of the reasons some models are stolen more than others. Many of the most stolen models were 2005 or older model years, as advances in anti-theft technology do seem to be having an impact on auto theft statistics.

Auto theft and break-ins can occur at any time, even in broad daylight—some thieves specifically target parking lots during daylight hours because they know commuters are at work. Open air lots tend to be better targets than garages as they are easier to get out of. Owners of soft top vehicles like Jeeps might want to consider using a club or other locking device as the soft tops can be slit by those trying to gain entry. And please never, ever leave your car running and unattended, even if you’re running into the gas station just for a second—your car is worth more than a gallon of milk.

In a similar vein, if you are parking your car on the street overnight, please follow the slogan we borrowed from the Cleveland Police and “keep your junk in your trunk”—meaning removing valuables like GPS devices and cellphones from plain view and placing them in your trunk to remove the temptation for thieves to smash glass and make off with them. And if you observe someone acting suspiciously around a vehicle, such as pulling on car doors, punching locks or otherwise, give the police a call. Let’s look out for each other.