The Champaign Police Department is currently investigating multiple cases involving vehicles being stolen from public streets and residential driveways.
Over the past month, the department has taken 11 reports of stolen vehicles occurring in Champaign. Nine of the crimes occurred in the campus area. Some of these burglaries occurred when victims left their keys in the ignition and/or the vehicle’s doors were left unlocked. Therefore, the Champaign Police Department is issuing the following tips to help prevent vehicle thefts:
- Residents are urged to lock up vehicles and secure all valuables, even if you plan to be gone for a brief time (paying for gas, running back inside your home to grab an item, etc.). Thieves have been known to walk down a row of parked vehicles and check vehicle doors to see if they are unlocked. Once inside, the thief may decide to steal the car itself.
- Lock your garage and vehicle before going to bed.
- Remember to remove the key from the ignition! When we are in a hurry we might forget and leave the key in the ignition.
- Do not leave a vehicle on and unattended.
- Never leave windows open or cracked in unattended vehicles.
- Use your alarm or anti-theft device upon exiting your vehicle.
- Do not leave a spare key in or under your car. Thieves know where to look for that spare key.
- Park in a public place with plenty of light
Victims of stolen vehicles should immediately call 9-1-1 to make a report. Information can be reported to the Champaign Police Department by calling (217) 351-4545, or callers can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS). Information can also be sent by anonymous web tip by going to: www.373tips.com or by texting keyword “CCTIP” plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES). Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1000 for information leading to an arrest.