Las Cruces police reports over 100% increase in auto thefts this year compared to 2020, provide prevention tips

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A 2018 Chevrolet Camaro left running and unattended by its owner early Monday morning was the sixth vehicle stolen in Las Cruces since Friday night.

Las Cruces police said the gun-metal gray, convertible Camaro was stolen at about 4:15 a.m. from the 2200 block of Corn Drive.

Authorities said the vehicle was left running to warm up, however was unattended. Two of the vehicles stolen this weekend were left running and unattended by their owners and one other was left with the keys inside the cab.

Las Cruces police have recorded 186 motor vehicle thefts from the start of the year through May 15. Officials said that’s a 104% increase from the 91 vehicles stolen during the same time frame in 2020.

The department said nationally, there are more vehicles stolen during the summer and warm weather months than during other season.

LCPD encourages owners of motor vehicles follow these tips:

  • Do not leave vehicles running and unattended.
  • Do not leave vehicles running, unattended and with children inside.
  • Do not leave keys inside the vehicle.
  • Do not loan your vehicle to someone you do not know and fully trust.
  • Invest in and use an audible alarm system with an automatic kill switch that prevents vehicle from being started.
  • Ensure that all windows to vehicle are etched with the Vehicle Identification Number.
  • Close and lock windows and doors when leaving vehicles unattended.
  • If possible, park vehicle in a garage or within a gated area.
  • Do not leave keys to home, business or other properties inside your vehicle.
  • Do not leave garage door remote openers in vehicle.
  • Do not leave garage doors open or partially open. Entry can be gained by leaving a garage door partially open by as little as 10 inches.
  • Do not leave the vehicle’s title, or personal or financial documents in vehicle.
  • Do not leave firearms inside vehicles.
  • Immediately report suspicious persons or activity in your neighborhood.
  • Immediately report a stolen vehicle by calling police at (575) 526-0795 or call 911 if it’s an emergency. Be prepared to provide the make, model and color of vehicle along with the VIN and current license plate number.

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