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Lock It Down QC: Community can help stop car thefts

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A locked car means a safer city, which is why police across 25 departments have partnered up for a new initiative called “Lock it Down, Quad Cities” to remind everyone to never leave their cars unlocked again.

The number of car thefts in the Quad Cities Area is staggering, and it only continues to rise.

In recent years, Moline Police say they have seen a 45 percent increase in their vehicle theft rate, totaling 131 cars that were stolen in 2020. In East Moline, the number was 57.

According to the city of Rock Island, 133 cars were stolen in 2020 and 13 more have been stolen in January alone. 72 cars were stolen out of Bettendorf last year.

Finally, Davenport takes the lead with 487 vehicles that were stolen in 2020. All in all, a total of 750 cars were stolen in the Quad Cities, according to Keith Kimball, Bettendorf Police Chief.

To top it off, every police chief that spoke with TV6 stated that vehicle theft is nearly 100 percent preventable.

“By simply locking your doors and taking your keys, that makes that opportunity go away for those criminals,” said Darren Gault, Chief of the Moline Police Department.

These crimes don’t stop at theft, either. Police say that stolen cars are often linked to other crimes such as robbery, reckless driving and even stolen weapons charges due to guns being left in the vehicles.

By everyone in the community simply locking their car, police say that crime rates in general will lower significantly. However, the solution relies on taking that step.

“We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem. Nor do we want to,” said Keith Kimball, Chief of Bettendorf Police.

“Get into the habit and lock your car,” pleads Mayor Michael Matson of Davenport, “it takes you seconds to unlock it.”

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