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Consider these two recent statements from the Jefferson City Police Department:

1. Within the past several months, officers have seen an increase in the amount of reports taken for thefts from motor vehicles.

2. No forced entry has been reported to any vehicle.

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to reach a quick conclusion here: If you lock your vehicles, your chances of having items stolen from your vehicle decrease dramatically.

It's an important message at any time but especially as the holiday shopping season approaches.

Heeding this warning won't just help to keep your valuables safe; it will help to keep the community safe.

That's because one of the things thieves are taking is a large number of firearms. JCPD reported 20 incidents of stolen guns from vehicles (24 guns), 12 incidents from residences (16 guns), two thefts from open public areas and one from a business. All these have happened in the past several months.

The department also has seen an increase in the thefts of motor vehicles. In the last week, it has investigated reports of unlocked motor vehicles being taken from residences. Again no forced entry has been reported to any vehicle.

In the most recent incident early Monday morning, the owner was awakened by the sound of the vehicle leaving. In that case, officers located the vehicle within moments and after a short pursuit, took a juvenile into custody. The juvenile suspect failed to follow the orders of the pursuing officers and was subdued with the use of a Taser.

By locking your vehicle doors and never leaving valuables in the open, thieves in most cases won't bother to break a window to get in.

You'll be doing yourself a favor, but you'll also be helping JCPD fight crime. That benefits our whole community.

News Tribune

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