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Quad City car theft numbers higher than last year

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Despite the effort that the media and multiple departments around the Quad Cities have put into raising awareness over locking your car, thefts continue to be on the rise.

Police say that the “Lock it Down” campaign has not had the effect they had hoped.

Police in Moline, Rock Island and Bettendorf all say that theft incidents are up from the same time last year, even doubling in Moline.

“It’s just a simple thing, take your keys with you,” said Detective Jon Leach with Moline Police, “take them away from your car.”

There have been over 450 car thefts in the Quad Cities Area since January of 2021. 280 of those thefts were in Davenport, 28 in Bettendorf, 93 in Moline and 80 in Rock Island.

Despite the facts, however, people are still leaving their keys in their cars. “I think people get too complacent,” Detective Leach said, “‘It’s not gonna happen to me, I’m only leaving the car running for just a couple of minutes,’ and that’s all it takes for your car to get stolen.”

Police say that a stolen car is the gateway to other, more serious crimes like homicide and other felonies.

Cars aren’t just getting stolen in the parking lot of a convenience store, either. If your car is in the garage, and the keys are in it, it still is not safe.

Police Chief Keith Kimball supplied TV6 with security video that captured a group of young men pulling up to two different homes to try and steal cars. The first home had a silver pickup truck outside, which was unlocked. The men are seen opening the driver’s side door, searching for keys, then driving off.

The men then pull up to a second home and try to break into its garage. Once they can’t enter, they leave.

Chief Kimball emailed TV6 a written statement along with the video:

“I am just sending this out as a strong reminder to please be vigilant and to lock your vehicles up at all times. [To] not leave anything in plain view, and to keep your garage doors closed when it is practical or if open keep your garage in view. We have seen a rise in the last few weeks with the number of incidents even during daylight hours of juveniles driving stolen vehicles, driving around town, looking to commit vehicle burglaries, garage burglaries and stealing vehicles. They are becoming more brazen and confrontational. If you see anything suspicious please call 911 right away.”

Detective Leach added, “you have to be smarter and you have to realize that anybody can be victimized. If you allow yourself to be a victim it’s going to happen.”

He reiterated that all thefts have had to do with keys being left inside the car, both on and off.

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