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Stolen Vehicle Theft Continues To Plague City

POSTED January 27, 2012 9:53 a.m.

Car thieves are becoming more brazen, stealing vehicles regardless of the time of day, say police.

"Day or night," Det. Brian Shimmel said of car thieves who used to rely upon the dead of night to sneak off with their ill-gotten gain. "It doesn't matter. If they can get away with it, they're going to do it."

Also on the rise, he said, is the theft of trailers and utility trailers, which can be used to haul scrap metal. Shimmel urged residents with utlility trailers to invest in an axle lock, which when locked prevents the wheels from turning. Tire locks are also useful, he said.

Any method that makes it more difficult to steal is preferable to leaving it vulnerable to thieves.

Shimmel also warned against leaving perceived valuables in a vehicle parked on the street. Even if a purse or bag is empty, all the thief sees is a bag with a perceived value and it only takes a second to smash the window and grab the purse.

Home burglaries are always occurring somewhere in the city so investing in a home security system is a wise investment, say police.

"A monitored security system is best," Shimmel said, explaining that when the alarm is tripped, a call is sent to dispatch and an officer is sent to investigate.

It's also important to report all suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Often times, thieves will scope out a neighborhood before returning to make the theft. Police also remind community members to report all crimes, even small property crimes, such as bicycle theft or lawn art theft.

To report a crime, call the Oakdale Police Department at 209-847-2231.

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