Open cars hot targets

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Keizer Police Department officials are reminding residents to clear their cars of valuables and lock them up at night because thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles with increased frequency. There have been at least 167 illegal entries into cars since January, nearly double the amount there was during the same time period last year. “Especially with the holiday shopping season coming we want people to be more aware,” said KPD Lt. Andrew Copeland. Cara Steele, the KPD crime analyst, said thefts from vehicles, known as car clouts in police parlance, have been a featured part of her briefings to patrol officers since the beginning of the year. “Ninety to 95 percent are the result of an unlocked door or window. It’s not windows being broken or locks being jimmied,” Steele said. “We might see a change [in method of entry] if everyone starts locking their door, but it is something we’re tracking and we will notice it.” The problem with tracking car clouts – and apprehending offenders – is that by the time the crimes are reported and trends emerge, the thieves are long gone and the trends already over. “We have had some areas hit more than once, but with car clouts it’s very transitory. I can tell you that neighborhoods all over the city have been hit,” Steele said. Motive also factors...

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