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Police issue alert on cars stolen from dealerships

Friday, April 30, 2021 5:44 PM | Anonymous
Thieves have stolen more than 100 vehicles this year at dealerships from southeast Wisconsin to northwest Indiana, nearly triple the number stolen in all of 2020. Highland Park police on April 20 issued an alert to help slow the efforts.
Car rental agencies and service shops also have been the targets of thieves, who are stealing vehicles from parking lots and from inside buildings.
"These thefts have occurred by subjects breaking into the buildings and gaining access to vehicles which have keys left inside or are otherwise accessible. This is commonly found in the service departments of the dealerships," said Brian Bodden, a detective with the Highland Park Police Department.
Thefts in the area have climbed annually since at least 2017, when just seven vehicles were taken from dealerships in the same area. Police have made arrests, and Bodden said they have recovered some vehicles, sometimes re-tagged out of state. 
"The offenders have also obtained re-programmers and are targeting high-end Dodge and Jeep vehicles. It is believed this crew is searching social media and other online platforms," Bodden said.
Police offered several tips to help thwart thieves:
• Secure all keys 
• Cut power to overhead service doors 
• Block service doors with vehicles or other similar items 
• Make sure alarms are functional and in working order. Call police for all overnight activations 
• If video surveillance is present, check to make sure that cameras are operational and focused on building areas from which entry can be gained.
"The technology that was created specifically to eliminate car thefts, such as key fob technology, is now being used against us," a Chicago Police Department official said to reporters last month on a day when five stolen cars were recovered in the city, and 12 people — about half of them teenagers — were arrested.

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