Police are warning residents to use common sense when leaving vehicles unattended after the incidence of car thefts in Central New York has spiked.

According to the Utica Police Department fourteen vehicles were reported stolen in the city of Utica during the month of November.  In eight of those cases the cars were left running and unattended.  In three of the incidents the keys were left in an unlocked car.

The UPD is offering basic prevention tips to lessen the possibility that motorists will be victims of auto theft:

  1. Never leave your unattended car running or with the keys in the ignition, even for a minute.
  2.  Never leave keys inside the vehicle.  Roll up windows and lock the car, even in front of your home.
  3. Call the police to report a crime or suspicious activity.  Utica Police say, "You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood."

According to the UPD a vehicle is stolen every 21 seconds in the United States.  Auto theft causes an increase in insurance premiums, especially when thefts are concentrated in a particular area.  In many cases stolen vehicles are used to commit other crimes.


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