According to WWMT News Channel 3, Kalamazoo has seen a 50% increase in cases of stolen vehicles compared to the same time last year. This was concluded from data released by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

My first thought is...why? Is there one specific factor that attributes to the increase in stolen cars? In a way, yes. But, thankfully, a few simple steps can help prevent the theft of your car.

The data released by the KDPS indicates that, as of May 31st, 2021, 200 cars had been stolen in the Kalamazoo area.

Executive Lt. Scott VanderEnde was quoted by WWMT saying,

The biggest challenge for us with vehicle thefts is the ease and the access for these vehicles to be stolen.

When vehicles are left unlocked with valuables inside (wallets, purses, etc.) it makes them an easy target. Especially when keys are left in the ignition.

VanderEnde went on to say,

The quick trip to the gas station or convenience store and leave your car running, that’s another big one. Just locking your cars and turning them off, it’s that simple really.

So, if you want to make sure your car is not an attractive target for potential thieves here are a few simple steps to take:

  • Make sure your car is locked
  • Do not leave valuables in your car
  • Do not leave your car unattended with the keys in the ignition or in the car

I know it's easy to think, "Oh I'll just be in and out of the store! It'll just take a couple of minutes!" or "I know this neighborhood. There's no need to lock my car." But, with 200 cars being stolen so far this year those sentiments may be outdated.

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The KDPS also had a few other suggestions to prevent identity theft should your car be stolen:

  • Never keep your social security card in your wallet or purse.
  • Keep a list of all your credit cards and credit card numbers at your home.
  • Don’t keep your ATM card PIN with or near your card.

As well, check with your bank and see what kind of credit monitoring or "suspicious" monitoring they may have. If it's insufficient or non-existent the KDPS also suggests investing in a credit monitoring service.

Finally, if you find yourself the victim of a car thief the KDPS encourages you to report it immediately. The sooner you report it the more likely it is that you will get your car back.

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