Police warn of increase of break-ins, car thefts during colder months

DAYTON — As temperatures drop, police are asking people to be extra careful to make sure car thefts don’t go up.

While it’s tempting to leave your car running while you run errands leaving your in the ignition makes it much easier for thieves.

Major Jason Hall with Dayton Police Department said vehicle thefts are already up 67 percent from 2021.

A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said they are seeing an increase as well.

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Hall is reminding people not to leave the keys in the ignition.

“A motor vehicle is a very expensive item, it’s a very important item for most folks ... it’s how they get to to work, it’s how they get their kids to school,” Hall said.

Michelle Bryant warms up her car every morning before her 7-year-old gets in.

Mine don’t like to wear a coat, and who wants to argue about them wearing a coat, just let them freeze going in and out, heat the car up, they’ll be fine,” Bryant said.

But hearing about the uptick in thefts has her rethinking that strategy.

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“Maybe I should quit doing it,” she said.

There is another option. Jerry Mason said he doesn’t leave his keys in the car, he uses a remote starter.

Hall said stolen vehicles should be a community concern.

“It’s been my experience as a police officer, a stolen vehicle usually does not get driven gently. It usually gets driven recklessly, a lot of the time when we try to stop these vehicles, they try to flee, which puts the motoring public in danger,” Hall said.

Even more reason to not make it easy for criminals to take your car.

“The best advice I can give is just do everything you can to protect your property, protect yourself from becoming a victim,” Hall said.

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