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Kent County Sheriff's Office raising awareness about new trend in stolen vehicles

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During the first two weeks of March, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department took ten reports of stolen cars

Kent county Sheriff Michelle Lajoye-Young says car theft trends continue with numbers rising since 2020. And until recently, there was also a trend that involved specific models being taken, like the theft of Kia vehicles. However, that trend has snapped. The sheriff says they’re taking all models, and all makes but now, there’s an added twist.

“But the trend that we are seeing is that people are leaving them in their driveways, unsecured with the keys inside.”

During the first two weeks of March, the Kent County Sheriffs Department took ten reports of stolen cars. Impacted areas are Ada Township, Byron Township, Cascade Township, and beyond. Of these ten reports, only one involved the attempted theft of a Kia. But all were unlocked with the keys inside, parked in a driveway.

Sheriff Lajoye-Young says the continued thefts are not surprising, but people’s actions are.

“I am a little surprised that we are still seeing people leaving their keys inside of a locked car.”

Sheriff Lajoye-Young says last year was a record breaking year for vehicle theft and their goal is to keep that trend from rising. She has a message for residents that may help curb some of the auto thefts in the county.

“As your Sheriff I’m asking that you do your part to secure your vehicles and your keys are in a secure location but I’m also asking if you see something suspicious in your neighborhood that you’ll call us and allow us to do our part to help protect the community.”

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.
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