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What it’s like to have your car stolen in the QCA

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 4:07 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The “Lock it Down” initiative has been up and running since December of 2020 for 24 police departments across the Quad Cities.

What that means is for our area, the stolen car epidemic is in full swing. In 2019, car theft crimes had already raised significantly since previous years. By 2020, we saw a 14.5 percent increase.

Davenport police say that care are being stolen sometimes multiple times a day, providing transport to other crimes as serious as homicide.

Kennedy Norton, of Davenport, says her husband went out for a late night food run back in October and accidentally left the key fab in their 2017 Ford Explorer, a car they had just bought, when it was stolen by 19-year-old Sherral Tolbert.

“We woke up the following morning to it being gone,” Norton said, “it was the one chance of opportunity.”

According to Norton, the keys had never been left in the car before. Tolbert ended up taking the car and using it in the October 25 homicide of 19-year-old Lavonta Baker.

It was the third car the teenager was accused of stealing in two years, along with multiple assault and weapons charges. he was on probation at the time.

Now, Tolbert daces first degree murder charges with the potential of life in prison, and Norton is left paying monthly for a car that is stuck in the evidence room.

“It’s sad for everyone involved,” said Norton, “I just want my car back, dang-it.”

Just last week, the non-profit organization One Eighty had a truck stolen right under their noses. The remodeling crew that was using the car had been carrying some tools inside the building when a passerby saw the chance to run and grab it.

“It all happened in less than 60 seconds,” said executive director Rusty Boruff, who says the move happened so quickly no one could have seen it coming.

“The gentleman just comes around the corner. It’s maybe a 30 foot walk and he went straight to the truck, got in, and left,” said Boruff.

Now the truck is gone and the organization isn’t sure when, if ever, they will get it back.

“You should be able to leave your vehicles running and not have to worry about someone stealing it,” Boruff said, “but the simple fact is that is not the situation we’re in.”

Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski says that if everyone locks their car and keeps the keys at all times, the number of thefts and other crimes will decrease significantly.

“We know we can do something about this and have a positive impact on crime,” said Sikorski.

In both incidents a mistake happened that we have all made before. While these victims are not to blame for the outcome, the fact is that car theft is a major problem in our community right now and it forces us to have to be extra cautious.

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