CENTRALIA, IL — The Centralia Police Department is alerting the public to a disturbing increase in stolen vehicle reports that have occurred recently.
Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson says the department has received 12 stolen vehicle reports so far this year compared to 54 for all of 2020.
In reviewing all of the reports, he says there were no similarities in suspects or geography.
The only common factors were that the vehicle had been left unsecured with the keys in the vehicle.
Dodson notes these have all been crimes of opportunity and cold weather is playing a role as people are leaving cars running to keep them warm or to warm them up prior to driving.
Police are asking the public to not leave themselves vulnerable to this opportunistic crime.