Aurora -- Police are warning residents to lock their cars after a rash of car thefts have been reported in the past month, as well as several incidents where items were taken from vehicles.
Four vehicles have been reported stolen, according to Police Lt. Rob Hagquist, who said the thefts have occurred after suspects located unlocked cars with the keys left in them. The car thefts, which have occurred at night, have been widespread through the city, he said.
About a dozen vehicular break-ins also have been reported in the past couple of weeks, he said.
"The suspects pick a neighborhood and try to see what they can get out of it," he said. "These are not residential burglaries. These are cars that are unlocked in driveways.
"They go car to car, by foot, looking for items in unlocked vehicles, and if they can, they take the vehicles."
Hagquist said police believe the car thefts are connected. They include:
• Dec. 31 -- A car was reported stolen overnight on Cobblestone Road.
• Jan. 13 -- A Bartlett Road woman reported her vehicle was gone.
• Jan. 26 -- A resident reported his car stolen overnight on Chelmsford Drive, with $1,000 worth of items inside.
• Jan. 29 -- A car was reported stolen overnight on Parkview Drive. Several items were taken, but no value was given.
A rundown of the cases where vehicles were entered is as follows:
• Jan. 26 -- Three unlocked vehicles on Parker Road were reported entered. One owner reported $2,560 of undisclosed missing items, one reported $200 of missing items and the third reported nothing missing. A Chelmsford Drive woman reported her unlocked vehicle was entered and miscellaneous items valued at $100, plus $80 in cash, were taken. An Eaton Drive man reported Jan. 26 his unlocked vehicle was entered and a small amount of change was taken. A Chelmsford Drive man reported $200 in cash and gift cards totaling $100 were taken from his unlocked car. A vehicle also was reported entered on Chatham Drive, but nothing was found missing.
• Jan. 27 -- A Chelmsford Drive man reported his unlocked vehicle was entered, but nothing appeared to be missing.
• Jan. 29 -- A Parkview Drive man reported his vehicle was entered. He didn't know if it was locked and provided no value of the missing items. Aurora-Hudson Drive and West Mennonite Road residents reported their vehicles were entered. They did not know whether the cars were locked. Nothing was missing from one car and no value of items taken from the other was given.
Hagquist said similar crimes have been reported in Bainbridge, Hudson, Kent and areas covered by the Portage County Sheriff's Department.
"Make sure your vehicles are locked and your keys are not inside your car," Hagquist said. "Make sure your valuables are out of sight. If possible, put your vehicle in a garage.
"These are easy opportunities for these people when cars are unlocked," he added. "That's what they're taking advantage of."
People with any information on the car thefts or vehicular break-ins are asked to call Aurora police at 330-562-8181.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187